FULTON, Miss. (WTVA/ICC Athletics) - Itawamba Community College head tennis coach Paul Johnson announced the Lady Indians and Indians’ 2013 schedule on Tuesday.
ICC will open the 2013 season with six-straight road trips, including matches against traditional powerhouses Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Alabama and Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We are always looking for Division II or small colleges to play because playing good competition it makes you better,” said Johnson. “That’s something we’ve done for 20 to 25 years by going to places like North Alabama and Georgia to play some of the top programs in the nation.”
Both the Lady Indians and Indians will close the season with home matches against Copiah-Lincoln, Northeast, East Central, Northwest, Jones County and Holmes.
The Indians will be going for their fourth-straight Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) championship in April with sophomores James Jackson (Clarksdale) and Lucas Souza (Ihabela, Brazil) returning from last year’s championship squad.
“The men are going to be really young with only two guys coming back from last year’s championship team,” said Johnson, who was named the 2012 MACJC Men’s Coach of the Year. “We’re going to have a number of freshman that we are going to count on and do a good job this season.”
The Lady Indians will look to earn their third-straight MACJC state title behind returning sophomores the nation’s 43rd ranked singles player Amy Evans (Ravenshoe, Queensland), Katherine Downing (Pontotoc), Anna-Blair Hunt (Senatobia), Bianca Stephens (Hernando) and Frankie Turner (Pontotoc).
“The women are going to have a lot of experience returning,” Johnson said. “We’ll have a good nucleus of players and I’m looking forward to finding a few new players to get in the mix.”
Downing and Evans, the No. 8 doubles team in the nation, won the United States Tennis Association and Intercollegiate Tennis Association Small College Women’s Double Regional Championship in Meridian and participated in the National Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.
The Indians finished the 2012 season ranked No. 17 while the Lady Indians finished ranked No. 18 in the nation.
2013 Itawamba Community College Tennis Schedule
March 1 at Jones County Junior College
March 2 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
March 13 at Gadsden State Community College
March 14 at Georgia Perimeter College
March 19 at East Central Community College
March 21 at Northwest Mississippi Community College
March 23 vs Copiah-Lincoln Community College
March 25 vs Northeast Mississippi Community College**
April 2 vs East Central Community College
April 4 vs Northwest Mississippi Community College
April 6 vs Jones County Junior College
April 13 vs Holmes Community College
** Site subject to change.