The East Central Community College men's and women's tennis teams completed their seasons in the 2019 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges State/National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Tournament held April 10-12 in Tupelo.
The East Central men finished in sixth in the nine-team field, while the No. 25 ranked ECCC women finished in fourth place and one spot short of qualifying for the national tournament.
"I am very proud of the players," said ECCC tennis coach Jay Pacelli. "We played to the semifinals in six flights and, even tough we didn't take any titles, played some great tennis and represented EC the way it should be—Excellence with Class! We fell a little short of nationals but we accomplished two winning seasons and 22 victories between the teams.
"It was a terrific year which I wish had not ended just yet. Special recognition goes out to our defending state champion Bethany Wellerman who, despite losing in the finals, finishes as one of the great competitors ever in the EC tennis program."
Wellerman, a sophomore who prepped at Newton County Academy, fell short in the No. 5 Singles finals to Copiah-Lincoln's Ashlyn Locke, an opponent she had defeated twice in the regular season. Wellerman won the MACJC State/NJCAA Region 23 Tournament title a year ago at No. 5 Singles.
Freshman Ali Grace Walker (Newton County) advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 Singles and sophomore Alexis Tindall (Newton County Academy) advanced to the semifinals at No. 4 Singles. Sophomore Gabriela Gomez (Bogota, Colombia) and freshman Kayla Baucum (Newton County) advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 Doubles.
In the men's draw, freshman Chris Lawrance (York, Western Australia) advanced to the semifinals at No. 1 Singles and freshman Isaac Santitto (Innisfail, Queensland, Australia) advanced to the semifinals at No. 2 Singles. Sophomore Will Ladner (Stone County) and sophomore Jake Wofford (East Webster) advanced to the semifinals at No. 3 Doubles.