St. Patrick one-upped itself this year. Each of the last two seasons, the school has returned to the Coast with a state championship.
The Irish sent four singles or doubles tandems into Wednesday’s MHSAA Class 3A tennis championships and are bringing home two titles.
Evan Chubb and Luke Seicshnaydre teamed up in boys doubles to defeat St. Andrews’ Ishan Bhatt and Stanley Qu 6-0, 6-3. Mixed doubles pair Logan Ward and Meg Weatherly defeated St. Andrew’s Margaret Case and Andrew Ditto 7-6, 6-2. Anthony Schloegel fell in boys singles to Wesson’s Erich Fischer 6-1, 7-6, and Lillie Guida lost to St. Andrew’s McKenna Wheatley 6-1, 6-1.
Resurrection’s Patrick Roth was the only other Coast player to make the finals in Oxford, which hosted the 1A/2A, 3A and 5A tournaments at FNC Park. He fell to Madison St. Joe’s Stedman Strickland 6-0, 6-0.
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Though the Irish had plenty of reason to celebrate, coach Matt D’Angelo said his team’s post-match celebrations more closely resembled business as usual.
“We have some very cool and calm kids. They don’t over-react,” he said. “They know they’ve put the work in so they feel like they deserve everything they get.
“Their confidence is high and they stay high. There’s no doubt in the their game.”
Chubb and Seicshnaydre made quick work of their opponents in all four matches in Oxford, winning 6-1, 6-1 in the first round and following up that performance by winning 6-1, 6-3 and 6-0, 6-2 in the next two rounds.
“Luke is one of the most athletic kids I think I’ve ever seen in my life,” D’Angelo said. “As a lot of the ESPN people say now, he’s ‘twitchy.’ He can move all over the court and his hand-eye coordination is great.
“(Chubb) started playing probably when he was 8 and has always been a tennis player. Good ground strokes, consistent, and takes advantage of point when he gets the chance. He doesn’t let anything get by him.”
Up until the first set against St. Andrew’s, Weatherly and Ward similarly cruised into Wednesday’s match. The Irish’s mixed doubles pair won 6-0, 6-0 to open play and then 6-3, 6-3 and 6-1, 6-2 to set up Wednesday’s title tilt.
“This was (Logan’s) first year to compete at state,” D’Angelo said. “To be able to come in and win is awesome. He has a big forehand and serve. He’s also great at the net. He’s a very well-rounded player.
“(Meg is) real consistent and doesn’t miss anything. She’s very mentally tough and doesn’t let anything bother her.”
With only three seniors on the team, D’Angelo hopes his team can make a return trip to the state championship next year — although reclassification will bump the Irish to Class 1A/2A.
“This is putting us in the top tier in 3A,” he said. We definitely had a chance to win at team state if a few things fell our way. (This year’s success) really is pushing us in the right direction.
“Hopefully next year we’ll bring home a team title to the Coast.”
Coast state finalists
Boys singles: Madison St. Joe’s Stedman Strickland defeated Resurrection’s Patrick Roth 6-0, 6-0
Boys singles: Wesson’s Erich Fischer defeated St. Patrick’s Anthony Schloegel 6-1, 7-6
Girls singles: St. Andrew’s McKenna Wheatley defeated St. Patrick’s Lillie Gueda 6-1, 6-1
Boys doubles: St. Patrick’s Evan Chubb and Luke Seicshnaydre defeated St. Andrew’s Ishan Bhatt and Stanley Qu 6-0, 6-3
Mixed doubles: St. Patrick’s Logan Ward and Meg Weatherly defeated St. Andrew’s Margaret Case and Andrew Ditto 7-6, 6-2
Girls singles: Ocean Springs’ Caroline Hudson defeated Madison Central’s Megan Humphreys 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
Boys doubles: Tupelo’s Hogan Harrington and Eric Huey defeated Ocean Springs’ Will Evans and Slay Wagoner 6-3, 6-1
Girls doubles: Ocean Springs’ Abby Chapman and Sophie St. Amant defeated Northwest Rankin’s Inaya Freeman and Lana Taylor 6-0, 6-2
Mixed doubles: Madison Central’s Walker Ellis and AnnCabot Stockett defeated Ocean Springs’ Anna Hudson and Cole Wagoner 6-2, 6-4