Lady Bears win 7-2 over Spartans in tennis tuneup
by Jeff Linville Staff Reporter
The Lady Bears handily won a scrimmage against Mount Tabor in preparation for the tennis season.
Mount Airy won 7-2 over the 4A Spartans. Most of the wins were lopsided and even the two losses were very close.
Top seed Davi Barbour won the first set against Laura Nicklas 6-2, but then the visiting player took the next set 6-3 and then won the tiebreaker.
Third-seeded Bree Hughes also went to a tiebreaker. She won the first set 6-3 and was tied 3-3 in the second before Maria Roberts pulled out a 6-4 win and then took the third set.
The Spartans were missing a couple of starters in the bottom half of the lineup, but the Bears also were missing a starter. Carley VanHoy was out of town helping older brother Garrett (a football, basketball and baseball player) get settled in at East Carolina University.
VanHoy was a sixth seed last year, but has moved up a notch this time. In her absence, freshman Bailey Jackson started at five, and Abby Hagwood was sixth.
Jackson beat Mary Ann Ordell 6-1, 6-0, while Hagwood won 6-1, 6-2 over Sarah Spangler.
Second-seeded Haley Thomas won a close match over Anna Luke, 6-4, 6-4.
At the fourth spot, Jai Daniels swept Lucy Liu 6-0, 6-0.
After singles play, the Bears led 4-2 and needed just one doubles match to secure the team win. Instead, they won all three.
This was the first time that Hughes and Jackson had played doubles together, and they looked really good as a pair, said Coach Scott Kniskern.
Hughes and Jackson won 10-2 over Roberts and Liu. Kniskern said he may try pairing them together again.
Barbour and Thomas are the reigning conference doubles champs and beat Nicklas/Luke 10-7.
The third doubles match had Daniels and Hagwood as partners. They won 10-2 over Tori Noles and Hannah Yamane.
Mount Airy opens the regular season Monday by hosting East Wilkes at 4 p.m. Then on Tuesday the Bears travel to face a perennially tough Watauga team. On Thursday, the Bears host new conference rival Atkins.
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