A trip to Rome: Brookhaven tennis team punched ticket to sectionals with state championship

Published 12:43 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — USTA League Women’s Tennis Players from Brookhaven won a state championship in the 3.0 division by beating Pine Belt, a team from Hattiesburg on June 13. They now look ahead to sectionals held in Rome, Georgia where they will play the best players from the south. 

Team Captain Leah Stewart said their home court is Brookhill and they practice about three to four times a week.  They mostly train with Brookhill’s tennis coach Terrie Hall. They started with her and learned how to play tennis. 

They started playing as a team about three years ago in the 2.5 division and moved up to 3.0 this year. The state title is the first one they have won. Stewart said they won every single match to take home the title and punch a ticket to sectionals played  from July 22 to July 24, 2022. 

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“It was the first time for us to go to state as 3.0 and then we won it all,” Stewart said. “To prepare for sectionals we will play people who are higher level than us and drill two days a week. We hope to win sectionals.”

The team would have to play a round robin tournament in sectionals and win to qualify for nationals played in Scottsdale, Arizona., she said. Stewart’s team has to play three courts of doubles and three courts of singles and must win four of the courts to win a match. 

She said it was an honor for the team  to win the state. It would be an honor if they can represent Mississippi well and win sectionals in the 18 and over division because they would play at nationals Oct. 14 to 16.

“We are all moms and wives and we have families. This is a secondary priority thing we do,” Stewart said. “We do have fun playing. We try to win and we try to have fun on the court.”