Lady Bears near-perfect on Senior Day


No. 1 Mount Airy scores seven shutouts in nine matches

By John Cate - [email protected]



Forbush's Ariatne Moreno runs down a shot in the No. 6 singles match against Mount Airy, the state's top-ranked 1A team, on Monday evening.


John Cate | The News

Mount Airy senior Anna Ilyasova made her first-ever appearance in the top six on Monday, and won the No. 6 singles match and teamed up to win the No. 3 doubles match as well.


John Cate | The News

Mount Airy’s Elizabeth Bray gets to the net for this shot in her No. 5 singles victory on Monday against Forbush. The senior scored a double-bagel win in her singles match and was part of another shutout in her first appearance at No. 1 doubles this season.


John Cate | The News

Forbush's Autumn Collins returns a shot in the Lady Falcons' match against Mount Airy. Collins played at No. 5 singles in the match against the state's top-ranked 1A team.


John Cate | The News

Mount Airy’s tennis program honored its five seniors on Monday evening and all five of them were in the starting lineup, and all five came away with victories in both singles and doubles.


John Cate | The News

Senior Day for the Mount Airy tennis team couldn’t have gone much better than it did.

The state’s top-ranked 1A tennis team sent out all five of its seniors for Monday evening’s non-conference tilt with Forbush, and scored a 9-0 victory even without the presence of one of the Lady Bears’ top players.

Mount Airy (14-1 overall) honored senior players Bailey Jackson, Logan King, Lisa Omuro, Elizabeth Bray and Anna Ilyasova for their contributions to Lady Bear tennis, and coach Rodney Pell used all five of them in the starting lineup. They held the Nos. 1, 2 and 4-6 spots in the lineup, with junior Maya Hicks holding down the No. 3 slot. All six of them won, and in the doubles, Mount Airy didn’t lose a single game, scoring three straight 8-0 victories to complete the match.

One of the highlights came from Ilyasova, who could be in the starting six for almost any other team in the area, but rarely gets to play for Mount Airy except in exhibition matches. Playing in the first seeded match of her career, she rolled to a 6-2 victory in the first set, but struggled against Forbush’s Ariatne Moreno in set two and had to go to a tiebreaker to determine the match. In the tiebreaker, they swapped points until Ilyasova took a 4-3 lead and then never looked back, winning the match 6-3, 2-6, (10-6).

Even though Elizabeth Marion, who has played at either No. 1 or 2 singles all season when healthy, wasn’t able to play, it didn’t stop the Lady Bears’ first four players to finish from posting double-bagel wins. Jackson blanked Stephanie Swain, Bray shut out Autumn Collins, Omuro did the same to Monlea George, and Hicks zeroed in on Mollie Hennings. King lost a game in set one against Alyssa Southern, but still clinched the team win with a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

Jackson took the doubles off, but she wasn’t needed. Hicks and Omuro were the first to finish up, taking the No. 2 doubles over George and Collins. At No. 1, King and Bray topped Swain and Southern for the eighth win, and Ilyasova and Meredith Marion played the No. 3 doubles for Mount Airy, blanking Hennings and Gena Wright to finish the match.

The pairing of King and Bray has been entered by Pell in 13 of the Lady Bears’ 15 matches this season, but never at the No. 1 spot until Monday. They are 1-0 as the team’s No. 3 doubles pairing, and 11-0 at No. 2.

The Lady Bears will return to Northwest Conference action today, hosting Atkins. The Lady Camels (6-5, 2-5) lack the depth of a Mount Airy, but have two exceptional players at the top of their lineup in Diana Alexandrov and Yinka Mason.

Forbush’s Ariatne Moreno runs down a shot in the No. 6 singles match against Mount Airy, the state’s top-ranked 1A team, on Monday evening.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_DSC_0342a-1.jpgForbush’s Ariatne Moreno runs down a shot in the No. 6 singles match against Mount Airy, the state’s top-ranked 1A team, on Monday evening.John Cate | The News

Mount Airy senior Anna Ilyasova made her first-ever appearance in the top six on Monday, and won the No. 6 singles match and teamed up to win the No. 3 doubles match as well.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_DSC_0362a-1.jpgMount Airy senior Anna Ilyasova made her first-ever appearance in the top six on Monday, and won the No. 6 singles match and teamed up to win the No. 3 doubles match as well. John Cate | The News

Mount Airy’s Elizabeth Bray gets to the net for this shot in her No. 5 singles victory on Monday against Forbush. The senior scored a double-bagel win in her singles match and was part of another shutout in her first appearance at No. 1 doubles this season.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_DSC_0378a-1.jpgMount Airy’s Elizabeth Bray gets to the net for this shot in her No. 5 singles victory on Monday against Forbush. The senior scored a double-bagel win in her singles match and was part of another shutout in her first appearance at No. 1 doubles this season. John Cate | The News

Forbush’s Autumn Collins returns a shot in the Lady Falcons’ match against Mount Airy. Collins played at No. 5 singles in the match against the state’s top-ranked 1A team.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_DSC_0384a-1.jpgForbush’s Autumn Collins returns a shot in the Lady Falcons’ match against Mount Airy. Collins played at No. 5 singles in the match against the state’s top-ranked 1A team.John Cate | The News

Mount Airy’s tennis program honored its five seniors on Monday evening and all five of them were in the starting lineup, and all five came away with victories in both singles and doubles.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_DSC_0395a-1.jpgMount Airy’s tennis program honored its five seniors on Monday evening and all five of them were in the starting lineup, and all five came away with victories in both singles and doubles. John Cate | The News
No. 1 Mount Airy scores seven shutouts in nine matches

By John Cate

[email protected]

Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.

Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.

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