PERKINSTON — There are four teams with a shot at winning the MACJC/Region 23 Men's Tennis Tournament this week in Tupelo, and No. 14 Mississippi Gulf Coast is certainly one of the favorites.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season 16-1, but by no means is a state and region championship assured.
"This year there are four teams that can win it," Gulf Coast coach Gary Bourgeois said. "There have been a lot of tiebreakers, even among our wins. There are four teams that can win it, and so some of it will depend on the luck of the draw in the early matches and who can handle the big stage."
Much of MGCCC's success has been built on a strong foundation of singles play from Nos. 3 through 6. Anthony Schloegel (Fr., Gulfport/St. Patrick) has dominated the state, going 13-1.
"Anthony has really anchored our team at that No. 6 position," Bourgeois said. "He only lost one match, and that was in a tiebreaker against Hinds. He tells me he's really ready to play."
Wesley Fontaine (Fr., Biloxi/Biloxi) is 12-2 at No. 5 singles. Evan Chubb (So., Biloxi/St. Patrick) is 12-2 at No. 3, and Patrick Roth (Fr., Pascagoula/Resurrection) is 12-2 at No. 4. Chubb and Roth have combined to go 12-3 at No. 2 doubles, which has given Gulf Coast a strong start on getting five points in dual matches.
"The bottom part of the lineup really came through for us this year," said Bourgeois.
The top three teams advance to play in the NJCAA Division I Men's Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. It starts May 13, and the fight to make it includes an always-tough Meridian squad plus Jones and Hinds teams that have come on strong down the stretch.
Jones handed Gulf Coast its only loss in the final week of the regular-season.
"It's going to be a battle," Bourgeois said. "It'll be whoever can handle the big stage and the tiebreakers. That'll determine who walks away with it."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.