MCC Athletics Honored by NJCAA
June 24, 2014
From School Reports
The Meridian Community College athletic department was honored Tuesday afternoon by the National Junior College Athletic Association with academic honors. Four teams from MCC were named as All-Academic Teams by the NJCAA and six individual student-athletes were also recognized.
The MCC baseball team, women’s soccer team, and both tennis squads were named All-Academic Teams by the NJCAA. The baseball team at MCC finished the 2013-2014 academic year with a 3.18 team GPA which was among the top three in the state of Mississippi among all of the MACJC schools. The MCC golf team was also named an All-Academic Team by the NJCAA by finishing the year with a team GPA of 3.05, while the MCC women’s soccer team was also recognized by completing the year with a 3.48 GPA. The GPA for the women’s soccer team at MCC was also ranked among the top three in the MACJC and the nation.
The final two teams that were honored were both tennis teams at Meridian Community College. The men’s tennis team finished with a 3.30 GPA which was ranked second in the MACJC and the women ended the academic year with a 3.45 GPA.
The day was also special for six student-athletes that were separately honored with awards handed out by the NJCAA. The men’s tennis team at MCC led the way by having three players awarded with top academic honors by the NJCAA. Kevin Millet led the way for all of the student-athletes at MCC by winning the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence by finishing the year with a perfect 4.0 GPA for the men’s tennis team. TJ Carter was named a recipient of the Superior Academic Achievement Award by excelling in the classroom with a 3.92 GPA and Reed Wade was the final player from the tennis team to be honored with the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award with a 3.60 GPA.
The women’s tennis team and the baseball team each had one player recognized to finish out the list of winners. Mallory Davis won the Superior Academic Achievement Award with a 3.84 GPA, while Grant Hill represented the baseball team by winning the Superior Academic Achievement Award with a 3.82 GPA.
The teams that were honored by the NJCAA are coached by Dillon Sudduth (baseball), Wanda McPhail (tennis), and Mike Smith (women’s soccer).
MCC Tennis Coach Inducted Into HOF
June 20, 2014
From School Reports
The Meridian Community College tennis program has just added to its already impressive list of accomplishments for 2014. At the NJCAA’s national women’s tennis banquet held at the national tennis tournament in May at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas, Coach Wanda McPhail, the men’s and women’s tennis coach at MCC, was selected to the prestigious NJCAA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ National Hall of Fame. Coach John Peterson, retired TJC coach who won twenty-five national championships in his career, was on hand to present the award to Coach McPhail.
Coach McPhail has just completed her fourteenth year as the coach of the men’s and women’s programs at Meridian. In her fourteen-years at the helm of MCC tennis, both the men’s and women’s programs have had a great deal of success.
Both of these teams have been to their respective NJCAA National Tennis Tournaments for thirteen years consecutively. The men advanced to the nationals by winning the Region XXIII Championships in 2002, 2004-2005, and 2007-2012.
The men’s teams were the Runner-up in 2003, 2006, and 2013-2014. McPhail’s women’s teams have won ten Region XXIII Championships (2003-2006, 2008-2013) in her fourteen-year career. They were the runner up in 2002, 2007, and 2014. The women’s team was ranked no. 7 in the nation in 2003 as a Division II team; the 2013 DI team finished the ITA rankings in 8th place. This year’s team finished in fourteenth place.
The men have found themselves ranked in the top fifteen often; this year’s team finished in the top 20. Seven MCC tennis players have received the prestigious USTA/ITA Arthur Ashe National Sportsmanship Award-Blake Sherman, Andres Cepede, Kelly Sterling, Tara-Beth Hall, Simon Bardell, Elliott Clark, and Mallory Davis.
The program has had seven ITA All-Americans in singles. Coach McPhail was named the Wilson ITA Women’s National Coach of the Year in 2012. In 2007, she was awarded the Herschel Stephens Award at the men’s national tournament.
This award is voted on by fellow coaches and is given to a coach whose teams have made five appearances at the national tournament and is given for service to the association. Coach McPhail was selected the Tennis “Coach of the Year” by the MAC in 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2008. McPhail , who played basketball and tennis at ECCC, was inducted into the ECCC Hall of Fame in 1971 after completion of her sophomore year and the ECCC Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
In the spring of 2012, McPhail was inducted into the Mississippi Junior College Sports Hall of Fame. She has been an officer in the NJCAA Women’s Tennis Coaches’ Association for nine years; she has served as its president for five years. She will serve out her term as president in 2015. She also serves on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Board of Directors as the men’s representative.
She was recently reelected to another two-year term. As a board member, she serves on the Executive and Budget Committee, Associate Chair of Small College Operating Committee, and as the Men’s JUCO Divisional Chair. She has served on the ITA ranking committee as well as the awards committee. Coach McPhail is involved locally by serving as a volunteer on the MTA Junior Committee. She has USPTR associate instructor certification.
Coach McPhail came to MCC from West Lauderdale High School where she coached women’s basketball, tennis, volleyball, and cheerleaders. She started the tennis program at WL; her teams advanced to the state playoffs from 1993-1999. Before coaching at WL, Coach McPhail coached at Kate Griffin Junior High School in Meridian from 1973-1978 before taking a fourteen-year sabbatical to stay at home with her three children.
A Summa Cum Laude graduate of MSCW, Coach McPhail balanced athletics and academics. She graduated no. 6 in her class from the “W”, and played volleyball and competitive badminton. She obtained her Master’s in Education from Mississippi State University in 1978. Outside of tennis, Coach McPhail has taught English and wellness classes, has been involved in numerous community service organizations, and has served on several committees at MCC.
She is a member of Collinsville United Methodist Church where she teaches the adult Sunday school class and is the lay leader and speaker. She is married to Mark D. McPhail, former CEO of Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. They have three married children: David McPhail and wife, Jenny Abdo McPhail, Haley McPhail Davis and Patrick Davis, and Morgan McPhail Vitart and Matthew Vitart. They, also, have seven grandchildren: Logan and Kate McPhail; Grayson and Finley Davis, and Ella-Katherine, Anne-Hartley, and Mark Toxey Vitart.
MCC Tennis Star Signs Scholarship
May 23, 2014
From School Reports
Kevin Millet, sophomore tennis player from Meridian Community College, signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his tennis career at the University of Texas Permian Basin, a NCAA Division II school in Odessa, Texas. UTPB is part of the Heartland Conference; the team is under the leadership of Coach Steve Buck. Kevin came to Meridian CC from Brandon, MS and is the son of Mark and Jackie Millet. He was coached by Brooks Buffington and Mark Elliott. Kevin, a mechanical engineer major, maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while at MCC. He had a rigorous class load; Kevin completed Calculus 1-IV, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Engineering Physics, and Chemistry as well as other core classes. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a two-year National Honor Society member. He was awarded the Sue Key Excellence in Math Award at the awards banquet held in May. At graduation, Kevin was honored with induction to MCC’s Circle of Excellence as well as awarded one of three H. M. Ivy Scholarships to be used to continue his education. He also was selected as a member of Who’s Who in America’s Universities and Colleges. He was on the President’s List all four semesters at Meridian.
As a tennis player at MCC, Kevin was the team captain for two years. His freshman year, he played number three singles and number one doubles. As a sophomore, Kevin played one singles and doubles. He was the runner-up at both positions this spring at the Region XXIII/MACJC tournament. He has competed at the NJCAA National Tennis Tournament both of his years. As a sophomore, he and his partner, Judson Watson, were at-large selections for the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships held in Ft. Myers, Florida in October 2013. In the last ITA rankings, Kevin was ranked number 36 in the single’s rankings. He was awarded the ITA Region III “Player to Watch” as a freshman and the ITA Region III “Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award” in 2014.
Kevin has been involved in community service through Phi Theta Kappa and the MCC tennis team. He has volunteered with Special Olympics, the Salvation Army, Love’s Kitchen Canned Food Drive, Street Strut for Breast Cancer, and Samaritan’s Purse. He has helped to teach clinics for younger players, and when at home, he works at Castlewood Tennis Center. According to MCC head coach Wanda McPhail, “Kevin is an extraordinary young man, who is dedicated to the sport of tennis. His work ethic is unparalleled in his desire to improve his game and the game of those on his team. He has clearly defined goals for his life and will be successful at his future endeavors.”
MCC Women's Tennis Team Completes 2014 Season
May 20, 2014
From School Reports
Meridian Community College competed in the NJCAA National Tennis Tournament hosted by Tyler Junior College May 3-9. The tournament consisted of thirty -one teams with a consolation back draw. This tournament is a flighted tournament; players are seeded according to dual match play during the spring season. Two points are awarded for the first round in the main draw and one point thereafter. Players in the back draw can earn up to two points for the team if they win the draw with each match counting ½ point.
Meridian finished the tournament tied with Seward County Community College out of Liberal, Kansas for fifteenth place. Meridian’s women had a stellar night at the national banquet held at Tyler Junior College previous to tournament play on Sunday. Mallory Davis received the Region III and National Arthur Ashe, Jr. National Sportsmanship Award presented during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Awards ceremony. The big surprise of the night came when Coach Wanda McPhail was inducted into the NJCAA Women’s Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
In first round play, Meridian’s Mallory Davis defeated Illinois Valley’s April Kutz 6-2, 6-0. In the second round of play, Mallory faced the number one seed, Natalia Vavulina, from ASA (New York) who was the tournament winner at the number one flight. She lost 6-0, 6-1. At number two singles, freshman Jennie Smith lost to Snead State’s Rachel Farmer 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. In the back draw, Jennie lost to North Central Texas’ Alexandria Rodriguez 8-2. At number three singles, sophomore Madison Gillette won her first round defeating Moraine Valley Illinois’ Alex Armon 6-2, 6-1. In the round of 16, Gillette faced the number four seed, Simone Krog, from Collin County Texas; she lost 6-1, 6-0. At number four singles, freshman, Caroline Terry, won her first round by defeating Carolina Hernandez of Jacksonville College Texas 6-1, 6-1. Terry then lost to the number 7 seed Katy Foster from North Central Texas 6-3, 6-1. At number five singles, sophomore, Molly Davis, lost a close match 6-7, 7-6, 6-1 to Pima’s Cassidy McWhorter.
In the back draw, Molly lost to NCTC’s Sheridan McKissick 8-3. At number six singles, MCC’s Taylor White lost to Snead State’s Courtney Moore 6-1, 6-4. In the back draw, White defeated Alina Patthana from Elgin Illinois 8-2. In the semifinals, White lost to sophomore, Brooke Martin, JCJC MS 8-6. At number one doubles, Davis/Smith defeated Oxford of Emory’s Colleen Isdahl/Camille Lusher 6-2, 6-0. In the round of 16, they played the number six seeded team Olivia Erlandsson/Jazz Whitaker of St. Petersburg, FL losing 6-0, 6-1. At number two doubles, Gillette/Molly Davis defeated Natalie Judkins/Stacy Kroch of Elgin, IL 6-2, 6-0 before falling to the number one seeded team from Tyler Junior College Texas 6-2, 6-0. At number three doubles, MCC’s freshman duo of Taylor White/Caroline Terry defeated Mesa CC AZ 2-6, 7-5. 6-0. in the round of 16, they defeated Jenna Bechtold/Marla Rodriguez of Lewis and Clark 6-2, 7-6. They played the number one seeded doubles team from TJC in the quarterfinals losing to Ashleigh De Wet/ Kerry Wiegand 6-1, 6-1. ASA won the national title with 47 points, Tyler had 46 for a second place finish. Rounding out the top five were Georgia Perimeter with 32, Cowley College KS with 25.5, and Florida State College of Jacksonville with 25.5.
Meridian women finished with 14 points which was enough to tie with Seward CC from Liberal, Kansas for fifteenth. For all results visit the following website : http://www.apacheathletics.com/f/NJCAA_D1_Womens_Tennis_National_Tournament_Schedule_and_Results.php
MCC Golfer Completes Play At National Tournament
May 19, 2014
From School Reports
Meridian Community College golf standout Connor Cavin completed play this past week in the 2014 NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Burlington, IA. Cavin finished the tournament by placing in 40th place among 113 players entered in the field. Cavin was the only player represented from Meridian Community College and was the only player that was in the field from District IV which includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The MCC team missed qualifying for the National Tournament by two strokes last month at the District IV Tournament which was held in Albany, GA.
Cavin opened the tournament by shooting an 80 (eight-over par) and was able to bounce back in the second round by shooting his lowest round of the week of 70 (two-under par). Cavin was unable to find his groove in the final two rounds by shooting and 80 and an 82 to complete the tournament with a total of 312.
In the past four years, MCC has had two individual national champions (Brandt Garon- 2011) and Jake Sterling- 2012) and an individual runner-up ( TJ Morgan - 2013).