DOBSON — Girls’ tennis showdowns between county rivals Mount Airy and Surry Central are always very competitive, but unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, they haven’t been able to get over the hump and score a team victory over the Lady Bears.
Surry Central could have pulled off the upset in its first meeting with the state’s top-ranked 1A team back on Aug. 31, when three match tiebreakers in the singles were the difference between Mount Airy’s 7-2 victory and a win for the visiting team. The Lady Eagles hoped to rectify that in Wednesday’s rematch at Central, but lost 8-1.
The Lady Bears (18-1 overall) showed much better form in the singles matches and none of them were as close as they had been back in August. Although Surry Central won many points during the matches, they usually didn’t transfer to winning games or sets.
The visitors caught a break just a few minutes into the match, when the Lady Eagles’ Sarah Marion, who had extended Maya Hicks to a tiebreaker last month, had to default the No. 4 singles after just one game due to illness. Mount Airy then easily won at No. 5, with Lisa Omuro stopping Anna Senter 6-0, 6-1 and No. 2 Bailey Jackson doing the same against Hope Hinson by an identical score. At this point, with three singles matches still on the court, rain arrived and delayed play for 45 minutes.
When the showers stopped, the Lady Bears continued in the ascendant, but the going got tougher. Elizabeth Bray wrapped up a win at No. 6 singles where both she and Central’s Haily Robertson had trouble holding serve. However, Bray lost serve less, and her six service breaks propelled her to a 6-3, 6-2 victory. At the top of the lineup, Elizabeth Marion clinched the team win for Mount Airy in a match where she blanked Sarah Wyble in the first set but then had to battle back from down 3-0 in the second for a 6-0, 7-5 victory.
The Lady Eagles got on the board at No. 3 singles, the last of the matches to be completed. Hannah Pardue outlasted the Lady Bears’ Logan King 6-3, 6-1.
In the doubles, Hicks and Omuro won four of the first five games of their No. 3 match against Robertson and Mamie Smith and went on to win 8-2. Marion and Jackson did likewise in the No. 1 doubles match, leading 4-1 early before losing two straight games, but then found their groove again and downed Wyble and Hinson 8-4. The No. 2 doubles was the only match of this meet to end with a tiebreaker. Pardue and Senter got up by a service break two different times, but King and Bray gained the lead at 7-6 and were serving for the match at 8-7 when the Lady Eagles’ duo scored yet another break to force a tiebreaker. However, that was their last hurrah, as King and Bray won seven straight points in the tiebreaker to win the match 9-8 (7-0).
Mount Airy was scheduled to face Walkertown today, but will receive a forfeit and end the day officially 19-1, 9-0 going into a Monday afternoon showdown here with Reagan, a 4A school that is the only team to beat the Lady Bears all season. Central will also receive a forfeit today, courtesy of Carver, and will be 10-6, 8-0 when it completes the regular season on Oct. 4 at home against South Stokes.
Lady Bears beat N. Stokes
Mount Airy was able to work in an important Northwest 1A Conference match with North Stokes on Tuesday evening despite the poor weather. The Lady Bears scored a 7-0 victory and were leading in the No. 3 doubles match when the intermittent rain finally proved to be too much and the matches were called off. Since Mount Airy already had more than five team points, the match goes into the book as a Lady Bear victory.
None of the six singles matches provided much challenge for Mount Airy. The lineup was the same as it was for Wednesday’s match with Central. King finished off her singles match first, beating Alyssa Collins 6-3, 6-0. She was followed in short order by Jackson, beating Abby Williams 6-1, 6-2; Hicks topping Morgan Rogers 6-1, 6-3; Omuro 6-3, 6-0 over Tessa Sprinkle and Marion 6-3, 6-3 over Bethany Brown for the fifth team point and the win. Bray closed out her singles match last, defeating Brianna Lester 6-0, 6-2. Among the singles players, Jackson never lost serve. Omuro’s win was notable in that she lost serve and trailed 3-2 in the first set before winning nine consecutive games to take the match.
Marion and Jackson downed Brown and Williams 8-4 in the first doubles. When the match ended, Collins and Rogers led King and Bray 6-5 (although the Lady Bear team had won the last two games) and Hicks and Omuro were up 6-1 on Sprinkle and Lester.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.