No. 14 Mississippi Gulf Coast won seven matches, a huge opening day which has already put the Lady Bulldogs ahead of their haul last year in the NJCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championships in Waco, Texas.
"We've got a hard day tomorrow, but it's a really good start," Gulf Coast coach Gary Bourgeois said. "A lot better start than I expected. We had a good draw, and the girls were really ready to play."
They are tied for second place with 14 points, one more than last year when they finished 15th. Gulf Coast's goal at the national tournament is to finish highest among MACJC teams, and right now the squad is ahead of Jones County (10 points) and Meridian (8).
Bianca Buie (So, Baia Mare, Romania/Gheorghe Sincai National High School), who won ITA Region III Sophomore of the Year at the tournament banquet on Saturday night, got the Lady Bulldogs off to a good start.
"Bianca won the first point, and everybody was watching her and got pumped up," Bourgeois said. "That energy carried over. There was a lot of comradery and energy."
Buie won her No. 1 singles match over North Central Texas' Yana Goranova, and Margarita Lopareva (Fr, Moscow, Russia/School No. 1101) followed at No. 2 by beating Lake County's Sydney Misiek 6-1, 6-0.
Jillianne Craft won her No. 6 singles match easily over Iowa Central's Rebecca Dunn, 6-0, 6-0, and Gulf Coast won a pair of doubles matches.
Bankston and Holmes won at No. 2 over Laredo's Jennifer Hundsnurscher and Tania Ramirez 6-2, 6-1. Craft and Lyons dropped only one game winning at No. 3 over New Mexico Military's Kathy Clouthier and Becsave Pacheco.
"Megan and Tierney beat Laredo, which historically has been really strong," Bourgeois said. "That was a big win."
First-day wins are worth two points, and main draw wins from here out are worth one point each. Gulf Coast will have chances to win a half-point each for each match they win in a pair of consolation draws."
"We're off to a good start," Bourgeois said. "Hopefully we can use that momentum tomorrow and win a few more matches and separate ourselves from Jones and Meridian."
NJCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship
No. 1: Bianca Buie (MGCCC) def. Yana Goranova (North Central Texas) 6-2, 6-2
No. 2: Margarita Lopareva (MGCCC) def. Sydney Misiek (Lake County) 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Tierney Holmes (MGCCC) def. Mary Wolfe (Wallace State) 7-5, 6-1
No. 4: Megan Bankston (MGCCC) def. Isabel Camacho (Mesa) 6-0, 6-0
No. 5: Ashley Fitzsimmons (Pima) def. Jenna Lyons (MGCCC) 6-2, 6-0
No. 6: Jillianne Craft (MGCCC) def. Rebecca Dunn (Iowa Central) 6-0, 6-0
No. 1: Bianca Buie (MGCCC) vs. (1) Tamara Arnold (Tyler), 9 a.m.
No. 2: Margarita Lopareva (MGCCC) vs. (8) Kyning Tillinghast (Harford), 9 a.m.
No. 3: Tierney Holmes (MGCCC) vs. (5) Alena Macharova (Seward), 10 a.m.
No. 4: Megan Bankston (MGCCC) vs. Carolina Fabbri (North Central Texas), 10:45 a.m.
No. 6: Jillianne Craft (MGCCC) vs. (3) Lolita Kozina (Hillsborough), noon
No. 5: Jenna Lyons (MGCCC) vs. Aimee Kell (Iowa Central), 1:30 p.m.
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