Picayune’s tennis teams set high expectations for new year

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 23, 2018

Under the leadership of Head Coach Chris Wise, the girls and boys tennis teams at Picayune Memorial High School are preparing for what they hope will be a record-setting season.

Last year, four team members qualified for the state tournament, which included Joseph Massengale and Brooke Warren, who participated in men’s and women’s singles respectively. Logan Dorn and Gelsey Guerra competed in mixed doubles.

“This is my third year being the head coach of the program and I love it, it’s been a lot of fun,” Wise said. “During my first year, three team members qualified to the state tournament and I hope to continue that success this year.”

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The Lady Tide this year includes team members Sara Polson, Michelle Boland and Annabelle Wise.

Polson, a third-year player, said she hopes to qualify for the state tournament by the end of the regular season, but in order to achieve her goal she’s going to have to improve her serving skills.

Annabelle, a second-year player, and Boland, a first-year player, also hope to reach the state tournament. In order to do so, they both said they are going to have to improve their serving and forehand skills.

“I joined the tennis team because Annabelle is my best friend and she convinced me to come out here,” Boland said. “So far, it’s been a lot of fun and coach Wise has been helping me improve on my tennis skills by setting up different drills.”

Wise said he has high expectations for both the boys and girls teams this year, including a region championship.

“Picayune has never won the district in tennis, so I hope this is the year when we finally achieve that goal,” Wise said.

Also, Wise said he has had the pleasure to coach the valedictorian and the class president for the last two graduating classes.

This year, Picayune will compete against Hattiesburg High School and North Pike High School during district matches. The Lady Tide and Maroon Tide will begin the season on Feb. 27, when they’ll travel to Stone High School. The games start at 4:30 p.m. This year’s district tournament will take place at Kemper Park in Hattiesburg on April, 10.

“An extraordinary group of kids come out for this sport and it’s been a pleasure coaching these kids, they have been great,” Wise said. “This is going to be a very exciting year and we’re hoping to reach many high new marks.”