The streak is over. After winning ten consecutive state championships, the Oxford Charger tennis team was eliminated in the second round by Madison Central, 5-2, on Thursday at John Leslie Tennis Courts. The loss marked the first ever playoff loss for the Oxford tennis team. The Chargers finished the season with a 17-1 record in their inaugural season in the 6A division.
The Chargers were only able to win two sets with a singles match where senior Grace-Anne Jones won and a doubles match with freshmen Downing Koestler and Mack Schuesslin coming out on top.
“We knew going into the match that it would be a tough one,” Jones said. “Madison Central is a very strong team. Unfortunately, the lineup didn’t work out exactly as we had planned and we weren’t quite able to get four matches. It’s definitely tough for everyone but especially our seniors to not have a chance at winning state our last year.”
Jones was not the only one who took the loss tough yesterday. Senior Josh Morgan also said that it was a tough loss.
“Yesterday was hard to handle,” Morgan said. “We put the best people out there in order to succeed and fell to a high quality team.”
Despite the loss, the Chargers were still able to complete their season with a 17-1 record with impressive wins over top teams like Northwest Rankin, Tupelo, and Madison Central in the regular season. Senior Ryan Mounce is proud of the season they were able to put together.
“In the beginning of the season, we expected to compete but we were definitely able to exceed expectations in some areas so going 17-1 is nothing to hang our heads about,” Mounce said.
Coaching for nearly 20 years, Louis Nash has been instrumental in the success that the Charger tennis team has seen over the past decade with the ten straight 5A state championships.
“Coach Nash is regarded all over the state as the best high school coach,” Jones said. “He pours so much energy and time into us to put us in the best position possible for us to succeed. Obviously, the ten state championships are evident of how great of a coach he is.”