Meridian, MS—Marion Military Institute played for three of the four championships on the final day of the 2016 ITA Southern Regional JUCO Tennis Championships at the Northeast Tennis Center on Saturday, capturing two titles—women's singles and women's doubles—and falling just a tad short in men's doubles.
Paola Bou started the day off well for MMI by defeating Mariana Alvarez, the tournament's No. 1-seeded player from Hinds Community College. In the first set, Bou bolted out to a 4-0 lead, only to see Alvarez fight back and knot the match at 4-all. At deuce in the ninth game, Bou outlasted Alvarez in a rally that consisted of more than 25 shots. Bou matched Alvarez stroke for stroke. Flustered by Bou's stick-to-itiveness, Alvarez wilted under the pressure and lost the final two games of the set.
The second set mirrored the first, with Bou sprinting out to a quick 3-0 lead. Bou squandered her lead and found herself tied at three games apiece. Again, Bou won a lengthy rally that changed the course of the set. From that point on, Bou settled down and took the last three games of the set, winning 6-4, 6-3.
Bou is MMI's third female player in the past decade to capture the ITA women's singles championship. Rachel Rossi won two ITA Southeast Regional JUCO Women's Singles Championships in 2008 and 2009, and Carlee Conway won MMI's first ITA Southern Regional JUCO Women's Singles Championship in 2014.
Bou continued her winning ways in doubles, partnering with Alana Larcombe to defeat Mississippi Gulf Coast's No. 2-seeded doubles team of Katie Burrall and Paulina Estrada, 6-1, 6-3.
Bou and Larcombe join MMI's three other women's doubles teams to capture the ITA Southeast or Southern Regional JUCO Women's Doubles Championship: Rachel Rossi/Ashley Grafton (2009), Leslie Frankland/Lydia Carter (2013), and Carlee Conway/Maria Cespedes (2014).
Finally, in the men's doubles championship, Danny Boussom and Andrew Carey played tremendous tennis in the first set against their Meridian counterparts, blasting their way to a 6-2 win. The second set was neck and neck from the first point to the last. Meridian's Breno Goncalves and Jason Pimenta barely escaped with a 7-6 (5) win. The match boiled down to a third-set super-tiebreaker, which Meridian won 10-5.
"I'd like to congratulate Paola, Alana, Andrew, and Danny for their excellent play and on their fine accomplishments this week at the ITA Regional," said Charles Wright, MMI's men's and women's coach. "Actually, I'd like to congratulate the entire team on competing well and exhibiting good sportsmanship throughout the tournament. I am very proud of them all."