KERNERSVILLE — Bishop McGuinness continues to look like the team to beat in the Northwest tennis season.
The Villains beat Mount Airy 8-1 Wednesday. Bishop took five of six singles matches and all three in doubles.
Bishop already had a good team, but was bolstered by the return of its top seed.
“Kevin Weckworth returned to the lineup after suffering an ankle injury during basketball season,” said Bear Coach Rodney Pell.
Mount Airy’s number one, Mitch Kessler, defeated Weckworth in straight sets 6-0, 6-3. However, Weckworth being back in the lineup pushed all the other players down a notch, helping the team depth.
Kessler remains perfect at 5-0 this season. The junior was undefeated in the regular season as a freshman and nearly repeated the feat as a sophomore. Both of those seasons, he played as the second seed behind his older brother Matt. With Matt graduated, Mitch is now the top seed and team leader.
Mitch won the first seven games against Weckworth, Pell pointed out. Then the senior won two games to go up 2-1 in the second set. Kessler came back to win four out of five games to secure the win.
Fourth seed Blake Hensley won a game early in each set, but couldn’t keep the sets close. John Abram won 6-1, 6-2.
Third seed Sam Brown finished just behind Hensley. Ben Jandzinski won the first set 6-0, but Brown stayed close early in the second set before Jandzinski won the last three game for a 6-2 set.
Kessler was the third player to finish, cutting Bishop’s team lead to 2-1 then.
Bishop went up 3-1 when second seed Sam McLaughry beat Justin Leonard 6-1, 6-0.
The lead was 4-1 after Bishop’s Zack Jones beat Jack Marion in the fifth spot.
Sixth seed Robert Blizard battled hard in every game and was the final player to get finished. Unfortunately, he couldn’t close out any of the games. Jonathan Ingram won 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles play, Bishop’s McLaughry and Jones defeated Leonard Brown 10-0. Then Jandzinski and Lance Dittrich beat Mount Airy’s Marion and Gentry Williamson 10-2.
In the final match to finish, Kessler and Hensley lost their first doubles match of the season.
Mitch and Blake led 2-1, then fell behind 2-3 and then came back to a 4-3 lead.
They were unable to sustain the momentum, said Pell. Of course, he noted, “Weckworth was part of two consecutive state 1A doubles championship teams.”
Weckworth and Abram rallied for a 10-6 win.
The Bears travel to West Stokes this afternoon.