No. 14 Mississippi Gulf Coast was a pair of three-set matches from making it through the first day of the MACJC/Region 23 Tournament in Meridian undefeated.
The Lady Bulldogs, who moved up two spots in the latest ITA standings released Thursday, won seven of nine matches in the quarterfinals. Team standings were not available Thursday.
"We lost in two three-setters or we could have been 9-0," Gulf Coast coach Gary Bourgeois said. "Those two matches we probably should have won."
Gulf Coast, the defending state and region champs, won four matches that went to three sets. Megan Bankston (Fr, Gulfport/Gulfport) defeated Jones County's Kaylee McLauren 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 in No. 4 singles, and Jenna Lyons (So, Pascagoula/Pascagoula) won 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 at No. 5.
Both the Lady Bulldogs' doubles wins came in three sets. Bianca Buie (So, Baia Mare, Romania/Gheorghe Sincai National High School) and Margarita Lopareva (Fr, Moscow, Russia/School No. 1101) won 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 at No. 1, and Jillianne Craft (So, Gulfport/St. Patrick) and Jenna Lyons (So, Pascagoula/Pascagoula) rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.
The three-day tournament resumes Friday with semifinal action.
MACJC/Region 23 Tournament Quarterfinals
No. 1: (2) Bianca Buie (GC) def. Gabriela Gomez (EC), 6-3, 6-0
No. 2: (1) Margarita Lopareva (GC) def. Bailey Gillentine (ICC) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3: (2) Tierney Holmes (GC) def. Avery Terrell (Holmes) 6-0, 6-2
No. 4: Megan Bankston (GC) def. (2) Kaylee McLauren (JCJC) 3-6, 6-0, 6-4
No. 5: (3) Jenna Lyons (GC) def. Ashlyn Locke (CL) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
No. 6: Jillian Cran (JC) def. (2) Jillianne Craft (GC) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
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