Marion, AL - Javier de Claire, with his fast footwork and the racket speed he generates with his topspin forehands, is a blur on the tennis courrts. The Tigers needed every last second of de Claire's foot and racket speed to defeat the Meridian Eagles, 5-4, at home on Friday afternoon.
After Marion and Meridian each took a doubles point (Marion's Kaiser De Leon and Romar Hernandez with their 8-1 win on court 1 and Meridian's No. 2 doubles team with its 8-1 win on court 3), Marion's de Claire and Jake McDonough pulled out the last doubles point with an 8-6 victory on court 2.
Marion and Meridian split blowouts at singles flights 1, 2, 5, and 6. Scoring points for the Tigers were Kaiser DeLeon at No. 1 singles (6-1, 6-2) and Romar Hernandez at No. 2 singles (6-1, 6-2).
Marion and Meridian also split two very close matches at singles flights 3 and 4. McDonough put up a spirited effort at No. 3 singles in his three-set loss to Meridian's Will Rogers, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 10-6. And with darkness closing in, de Claire turned off all the lights on Meridian with his sparkling 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 win at No. 4 singles.
The Tigers now go on the road to face Gadsden State CC in a 1 p.m. match on Saturday, March 1.