CARY — In a season where three of the area’s girls’ tennis teams enjoyed outstanding seasons and will be in action this evening in the second round of the state playoffs, only one was able to send anyone to the individual state championship tournament.
Surry Central was so dominant in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference this season that its top two doubles teams ended up playing each other for the conference individual title, and its No. 4 singles player reached the championship match herself. At the regionals, Central’s two doubles teams finished second and third overall, and the singles player in question missed a trip to state by just one match.
So the Lady Eagles crossed the state to compete in and root for four of their players in the 1A/2A state doubles championships, which began on Friday morning at Cary Tennis Park.
Central’s No. 2 team of Anna Senter and Hannah Pardue actually had the higher seed, since they placed second at the regionals. However, they got an unfavorable draw and ended up facing Sarah Morse and Marshall Phillips of Jordan-Matthews, who eventually finished third in the state after losing to the eventual champs in the semifinals. Morse and Phillips won the match to end the season for Senter and Pardue, who won 14 matches during the season.
Hinson and Wyble, the Lady Eagles’ top doubles team, drew Cameron Grace Brown and Carrie Anne Brown of Bartlett-Yancey High School in the opening round and had to fight back from a first-set loss to earn a 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory, winning in the only opening-round match to go three sets.
Just eight teams remained in the field, and now it was Hinson and Wyble’s turn to get a bad matchup. They lost to the eventual champions, Zoe Huffman and Toni Laney of Maiden High School, in the quarterfinals.
For seniors Senter and Hinson, it was their final individual appearance. However, both of them and the rest of the Surry Central team will resume action in the dual-team playoffs with a road match today at 4 p.m. against Lake Norman Charter School. The Lady Eagles (13-6) won at East Burke in the first round of the tournament last week.
Both local representatives in the 1A playoffs are in action as well today. Mount Airy (23-1), the state’s top-ranked 1A team, will face conference rival Bishop McGuinness (14-4) for the third time this season today at home at 4 p.m. Bishop is the state’s third-ranked team. Meanwhile, at the same time, seventh-ranked East Surry (17-3) will hit the road and take on Pine Lake Prep (8-2-1) in a matchup of the regional’s second and third seeds. The winners of these matches will meet on Thursday at the higher-seeded team.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.