By Datti Jinkiri
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, postseason tennis in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) will resume and both of Mississippi College’s tennis teams will be a part of it. The Choctaws and Lady Choctaws completed their regular seasons and will play in the GSC Tennis Championships in Montgomery, Alabama today.
The Lady Choctaws are the number-three seed in the women’s tournament and will play number-six seed Lee University at 10:00 a.m. This will be their fourth consecutive appearance in the postseason.
The women’s team is led by super sophomore Ely Alas. The Barquisimeto, Venezuela native finished the regular season with an 8-5 singles record and was named to the All-GSC Second Team. Alas played in the number-two singles position for every match except for one.
She also teamed up with reigning GSC Freshman of the Week Fernanda Cota this season and recorded a 10-4 mark at the number-one doubles position. The duo won their last five matches and overall won eight of their last nine.
The Lady Choctaws will enter the postseason on a two-game winning streak. The team’s feather in the cap was their 4-3 win over nationally-ranked Auburn Montgomery team on Senior Day. After blanking Shorter 7-0 the following day, the Lady Choctaws secured the three-seed.
The Choctaws sneaked into the men’s tournament with a win against Shorter in their final regular season match. The team will be the number-eight seed and will play number-one seed Valdosta State at 2:30 p.m. This will be the team’s third postseason appearance in the last four years.
The Choctaws are led by Maksym Konovalov, a graduate student from Kiev, Ukraine. He has an 8-7 singles record, playing 11 of his 15 matches in the number-six singles position. He won his last two matches against Auburn Montgomery and Shorter, respectively. Konovalov also has a 5-4 conference record.
Junior Brady McDaniel and freshman Joe Jarvis are the Choctaws’ top doubles team with a 5-5 record. The duo had a win over nationally-ranked Delta State last month.
Though the Choctaws will have a tough outing against the number-four ranked team in the country in Valdosta State, they will enter the postseason on a high. They soundly defeated Shorter 6-1 on Sunday.
GSC Tennis Championships
The GSC Tennis Championships will be held at Lagoon Park & O’Connor Tennis Center in Montgomery. The women’s matches will be played at O’Connor Tennis Center, and the men’s matches will be played at Lagoon Park.
Eight GSC Teams qualified for each of the single-elimination tournaments. The tournaments will take place from today to Saturday. Advancing teams will play each day, culminating in a championship match on Saturday. Tournament results can found on gscsports.org.