MERIDIAN, Miss. – Roberto Valadez and Michael Crotts powered the Indians to four points with a pair of singles victories before partnering with Ezra Blissard and Blake Gregory to pick up a pair doubles wins to finish the opening day of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region tournaments tied for fourth place.
Valadez defeated William Wooten of East Central 6-4; 6-1 in No. 3 singles. The New Albany native entered the tournament as the number four seed in the bracket.
Crotts (New Albany) was the number three seed in the No. 5 singles bracket and knocked off Landon Gibson of East Central 6-4; 7-5 in the opening round.
David Garcia-Perez (Madrid, Spain) fell 6-2; 6-4 to number two seed Carlos Trujillo of Hinds in No. 1 singles play. Blissard (Houston) dropped a 6-3; 6-0 decision to top seeded Juan Pinilla of Co-Lin. Second seeded Callan Shinall of Meridian defeated Edson Marchant (Haleyville, Ala.) 6-4; 6-2 while Russell Applewhite (Amory) fell 6-0; 6-3 to third seeded Daniel Tanious of Jones County.
Crotts and Blissard picked up a 7-5; 6-1 win over duo of Wooten and Landon Gibson of East Central 7-5; 6-1 in No. 2 doubles. Gregory (Pontotoc) and Valadez knocked off Emontie Lewis and Jacob Wofford of East Central 6-0; 7-6(4) in No. 3 doubles.
Lachlan Ivulich and William Swindoll of Meridian defeated Garcia Perez and Marchant 6-0; 6-4 in No. 1 doubles.
Valadez will face top seeded John Murphy of Gulf Coast while Crotts will take on Max Mauney of Meridian in the singles semifinals. Crotts and Blissard will face Murphy and Noah Rowell of Gulf Coast with Valadez and Gregory battling Mauney and Ethan Clopton for a shot at a spot in the doubles championships on Friday.
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