Local tennis players got their first taste of action at Mount Airy’s second-annual Surry County Invitational.
East Surry, Surry Central and Elkin joined the Lady Bears for singles and doubles play in eight-man brackets.
Mount Airy’s Bree Hughes went 3-0 to win the singles title, and Elkin’s Miracle Walters and Makayla Dimmette took the doubles honors.
In a unique twist, the matches began at Mount Airy, but when drizzle halted play at the high school, the teams moved to Cross Creek Country Club and used the clay courts to continue.
The clay is good at absorbing light rain, said Coach Rodney Pell. However, when the rain increased later, one doubles match was canceled and another ended early.
Hughes, the highest returning player as third seed in 2013, didn’t drop her serve through three matches.
In her first appearance, Hughes topped Central’s Sommer Chilton 8-2.
Chilton was up 2-1 before Hughes rallied to take seven straight, according to Bear coach Rodney Pell.
East’s Tiffany King swept Elkin’s Mattie Timmerman 8-0 to advance to face Hughes.
On the other side of the bracket, Central’s Marlee Wilmoth beat East’s Makayla Keener 8-1.
Mount Airy’s Jai Daniels blanked Elkin’s Morgan Randleman.
In the semifinals, Hughes beat King 8-1 and Daniels beat Wilmoth 8-5 to make it an all-Bear final.
The teammates held serve in both matches, noted Pell.
East Surry coach David Kidd said King had been battling a summer cold this week. She didn’t have much left by the third-place match and lost to Wilmoth 8-2.
In the final, Hughes broke Daniels in the first game and went on to an 8-1 win.
In the consolation bracket, Chilton beat Timmerman 8-3, wile Keener fell to Elkin’s Randlemen 8-6.
Keener would have faced Timmerman in a final match, and Chilton would have taken on Randleman, but Elkin chose to forfeit those matches.
Mount Airy had four new faces on its two doubles team. Minus two seniors, and with returning players Carley VanHoy and Bailey Jackson on vacation, the Bears featured Carly Clark and Coleman Craddock on one team and Logan King and freshman Elizabeth Marion on the other.
Clark/Craddock came back from 1-2 to beat Central’s Olivia Fowler and Mallory Wilmoth 8-4.
King/Marion beat East Surry’s Allie Hawks and Klaudia Tucker 8-5. Hawks/Tucker were up 4-3 before the Bears took five of six games.
East Surry sister Haley and Makayla Manuel defeated Elkin’s Emma Aldridge and Kirstan Beaver 8-2.
Central’s Karlie White and Anna Senter lost to Elkin’s Miracle Walters and Makayla Dimmette 8-1.
Walters and Dimmette, who also play basketball, beat Marion/King 8-2 to reach the final.
Clark/Craddock narrowly led the Manuel sisters 4-3 before pulling away for an 8-5 win.
Elkin’s top pair beat Clark/Craddock 8-4 in the final.
In the third-place match, the Manuels were up 5-0 on Marion/King when the match was called for heavier rain.
In the consolation bracket, Tucker/Hawks beat White/Senter 8-6. Fowler/Wilmoth beat Aldridge/Beaver 8-5.
The consolation final wasn’t started because of the weather.
Pell said, “The Lady Bears fared well, finishing 1, 2 in singles and runnerup in doubles.”
Kidd said he thought Hawks and Tucker played well in their first match together. Keener was pretty nervous in her first match, but battled to a close loss to Randleman in her second match.
Teams now have a week to work on things that emerged in this tournament before the regular season begins.