DOBSON — Surry Central advanced to the second round of the 2A dual-team tennis playoffs with a 6-3 win over West Davidson.
The Lady Eagles played the Lady Dragons last year in the first round of the playoffs and lost, noted Coach Dennis Miller. Most of the girls were back for both teams, so there was a measure of revenge in this win.
It was nice to get a win because West Davidson is a pretty tough team, said Miller.
The Dragons never gave up, even when Central took a 4-2 lead in singles and was on the verge of victory.
Three of the six singles matches turned into marathon affairs.
Top seed Marlee Wilmoth went to yet another third-set tiebreaker. As did Cassie Hoge on Court Five.
Mikayla Cox won in straight sets on Court Four, but every game was long.
Mikayla and Miranda Legg went to deuce over and over, noted Miller.
Cox eventually won 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
By that time, the Eagles were up 4-0.
Sixth seed Mallory Wilmoth raced through a 6-2, 6-0 win over Madison Armstrong.
Second seed Kennedy Dockery won 6-4, 6-0 over Rachel Trexler. Sommer Chilton received a forfeit win when Casey Coble had to leave the match with abdominal cramps.
The Dragons were tough-minded, said Miller, and Coble even came back out and played hard in doubles.
Still, the only two wins the visiting team got in singles came via third sets.
Marlee Wilmoth took the first set 6-4, then fell 5-7 to Olivia Varner, West Davidson’s career leader in singles wins. In the tiebreaker, Varner won 10-6.
Hoge lost the first set 5-7, then won the second decisively at 6-2 before falling to Hannah Shawley 4-10.
“Cassie started out slow, then she picked up the pace,” said Miller. “From the first set to the second set was like a totally different kid.” If Hoge had played the first set like her second, then there wouldn’t have been a need for a tiebreaker.
With a 4-2 lead, the Eagles needed just one doubles win to advance.
The team got that win at second doubles when Dockery and Cox beat Trexler/Shawley 10-4.
Then Marlee Wilmoth and Chilton won 10-7 over Varner/Coble.
With the match in hand, the final doubles match went only to eight points with the Dragons’ Legg and Rachel Salinas winning 8-4 over Mallory Wilmoth and Olivia Fowler.
Before the dual-team playoffs can continue, the Eagles have six players competing in the 2A regional tournament in Lexington Friday.
The regional begins at 2 p.m., and those that advance will be back at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Then next Tuesday, the Eagles take on either Mount Pleasant (14-1) or Bandys (7-2). Results of that match were not available at press time.
If Mount Pleasant won, then the Eagles travel next week. If Bandys won, then Central gets another home date.