KING — On the same day a teammate threw a no-hitter, tennis player Mitch Kessler also strove for perfection.
In a 9-0 sweep of West Stokes, the only drama came in Kessler’s bid for a perfect set. He won the first five games of the first set without allowing a single point, much less a game.
He was up 30-love in the final game when West’s Jacob Covington scored a point. Kessler finished the game and the second set for a 6-0, 6-0 sweep. That win gave the Bears their first team point.
Matt Kessler played Andrew Holmes, who filled in at the top spot for Lucas Shelton, the reigning 2A singles champ, who was out with a sore neck. The older Kessler won 6-1, 6-0.
Jordan Lawson also posted a convincing win with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Sam Elter at the third spot.
Freshman Justin Leonard fell behind early in the first set to Jordan Mitchell, noted Coach Rodney Pell. Leonard lost the set 3-6, but came back to take a 4-1 lead in the second set and won it 6-2 to force a tiebreaker.
Leonard went ahead 6-1 before winning the match 10-5.
Will Pfitzner won 6-0, 6-0 over Thomas Kiger at the sixth slot, giving the Bears their fifth point and securing the team win.
Taylor Bobbitt’s fifth-seed match took the longest time. He won the first set 6-0, but David Gravitt battled hard in the second set.
Bobbitt was up just 4-3 before taking the last two games for the win.
Mount Airy took the three doubles matches by a combined 24-1.
Mitch Kessler and Lawson won 8-1 over Holmes/Elter. Matt Kessler and Bobbitt won 8-0 over Sam Stevenson and Roger Phillips. Leonard and Pfitzner won 8-0 over Covington and Michael Parker.
The Bears improved to 12-3, 10-2 in the Northwest Conference. The two league losses came at the hands of Bishop McGuinness, the defending state 1A champions, noted Pell.
The Bears have qualified for the state dual-team playoffs, but will first compete in individual play for the conference tournament next week.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.