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Brookhaven Academy teams capture South State AA tennis

The Brookhaven Academy boys and girls tennis teams captured theSouth State AA Tournament titles Wednesday afternoon on theBrookhaven Country Club Courts.

Brookhaven Academy advances to the State Tournament next week.The 12 Cougar players will see action at Parham Bridges TennisCenter on Wednesday, May 8. The first matches begin at 9 a.m.

“Last year, we didn’t capture South State,” said BrookhavenAcademy first-year tennis coach Velma Estess. “They (team) farexceeded my expectations. When they dug in, they just stayedfocused. I enjoyed (coaching) them.”

The Brookhaven boys finished with 6 1/2 points followed byPrentiss Christian Academy with 5, Canton with 1 and East Rankinwith 1. Other participating teams were Leake, Columbia andWilkinson County Christian.

No. 1 boys singles player Jerrod Rayborn defeated PrentissChristian’s Morris Lindell in a grueling three-set final to giveBrookhaven the necessary points that secured the boys title.

Rayborn, an eighth grader, had never beaten Lindell beforeyesterday. Lindell, the defending AA boys champ, had the edge overRayborn in previous encounters until Wednesday.

“That was really the deciding factor in capturing the boys,”added Estess. “He (Jerrod) really preformed under pressure.”

The Brookhaven girls finished with 4 1/2 points followed by EastRankin with 4 points and Canton with 3 points. Leake and WCCA eachhad 1 point.

The Lady Cougars prevailed in No. 2 girls doubles as Abby Dayand Hannah Estess defeated Dennard-Whitaker of WCCA 6-4, 6-1.

‘We have 12 players that we will send to the state,” added CoachEstess. “I am very pleased with them as an entire team. Theysupported each other.”

Estess said varsity newcomers helped the team succeed.

“Abby and Hannah were a new team this year and they went tostate. Ryan Canon and Katie Ryan are going in as second second andnever played varsity tennis.”