After a rough start to the season, North Surry tennis is starting to find its groove.
The Lady Greyhounds lost matches to three of the best teams in the area — Mount Airy, Bishop McGuinness and East Wilkes — before bouncing back with 9-0 wins over South Stokes and Forbush, both Western Piedmont opponents.
The Hounds improved to 3-3, 3-0 in the conference with an 8-1 win over West Stokes on Tuesday.
“Our girls didn’t necessarily play well, but they competed the entire match,” said head coach Mark Parsons. “We’re excited about winning the match. That makes three wins in a row, but we understand the next few matches are at a whole other level.”
Parsons, the longtime boys’ tennis coach at Surry Central, is helping North Surry this year as previous tennis coach Maggie McKee withdrew from coaching so she could work on a graduate degree.
Parsons has been a fixture at North Surry matches for the past few years anyway, as daughter Rebecca played four years for the Hounds, and now younger daughter Katherine is a junior starter.
Katherine, playing the fourth seed, made quick work of her opponent, winning 6-1, 6-0 over Rebecca Martin.
Top seed Cassidy Willard won 6-1, 6-4 against Stephanie Henry. Third seed Cassie Barker won 6-3, 6-1 against Anna Brown. And sixth seed Emma Nichols earned a forfeit.
Second seed Emily Smith and fifth seed Callie Willard, however, would have long, hard fights on their hands.
Both lost their first sets before bouncing back to take the second set.
Smith fell 3-6, then won 6-4 against Natalie Hughes. Callie Willard lost 4-6, but rebounded 7-5 against Caroline Cook.
In the third-set tiebreaker, Hughes took an early 4-2 lead and stayed ahead on the way to a 10-7 win over Smith.
Willard and Cook were even at 6-all before Willard took four out of five points for a 10-7 win.
That clinched the team win before doubles began.
In doubles, Callie Willard and Parsons received a forfeit.
Cassidy Willard and Barker won 8-3 over Henry and Hughes.
Smith and Nichols won 8-4 over Brown and Martin.
This was the third straight match where North Surry had a player pull out a third-set tiebreaker.
Against South Stokes, Cassidy Willard beat Jenny Smith 10-6.
Against Forbush, Nichols had two tiebreakers. She won the first set 7-6 (7-5), then after a 2-6 set, she won 10-7 over Mollie Hennings.
The Hounds’ next match is today at Mount Airy, a team that beat them 9-0 in the first meeting Aug. 17.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.