Brookhill serves up college match

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2005

“Build it, and they will come.”

Borrowing a phrase from the popular sports movie “Field ofDreams,” Brookhill Tennis Center business partners David Misner andJohn Lynch had a vision of bringing college tennis toBrookhaven.

The Brookhill Tennis Center on Natchez Avenue would provide aperfect setting for a collegiate match, they thought.

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In what is hoped to be the first of many senior college tennismatches at Brookhill, the Samford (Ala.) University and SouthernMiss men’s tennis teams will meet Sunday afternoon. Action startsat 1 p.m., with three doubles matches. Six singles matches willfollow around 3 p.m.

“There’s going to be some very good tennis out here,” saidLynch. “These guys hit it so hard, and they are very consistent incollege.”

An added bonus will be the return of Ole Brook product StuartMisner, an outstanding sophomore at Samford. Misner has beenplaying No. 1 and No. 2 singles this season.

“We all enjoyed watching Stuart play high school tennis,” saidLynch. “Now he’s playing against people who can hit it back.”

Lynch is anticipating a beautiful Sunday afternoon and aspirited rivalry between the two schools.

“We want people to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the afternoon,”Lynch said. “I think there are a lot of Southern fans aroundBrookhaven.”

According to Lynch, the Brookhill facilities are second to none.Construction was completed last summer.

“They (USM and Samford players) should be pleased with theplaying conditions here,” said Lynch. “Perhaps we can bring in somemore teams in the future.”

David Misner, Brookhill’s Director of Tennis, said the publicwould be entertained by the college match. “To me, college tennisis more exciting than a professional tournament,” he said. “I toldthe coaches how great it would be to take the match out to thepublic.”

On the college campus, tennis is often overshadowed by baseball,softball, track and other spring sports. Misner has been promotingthe positives of taking some tennis matches off campus.

“The coaches realize that more people would get to see it ifmatches were taken off campus to show the people what it’s allabout,” said Misner. “There is a lot of excitement, enthusiasm andcamaraderie in college tennis.”

Misner’s three children all have played tennis at Samford.Gretchen and James David have graduated. Stuart is a sophomoremember of the squad.

There are six courts at Brookhill. The varsity format featuresthree doubles matches at 1 p.m. The six singles matches beginimmediately following the doubles.

“The team that wins two of the three doubles matches gets onepoint,” Misner explained. “Each singles match counts one point.It’s a total of seven points in the match.

“In doubles, they only play a pro set which is eight games,”said Misner. “In singles, they play two out of three sets.”

The Samford team will be working out late Saturday afternoon atBrookhill. The public is welcome to come watch the practice andmeet the players.

Samford tennis coach Kemper Baker will conduct a youth tennisclinic, starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Doubles competition will befeatured.