PILOT MOUNTAIN — Bishop McGuinness swept East Surry 9-0 in tennis, but the individual matches were closer than the final score implies.
This was a much better effort than in the first meeting, said East Coach David Kidd. When they met the first time, the Lady Villains dominated every spot.
Bishop won the six singles matches by a combined 72-5 then, but a more determined team showed up Tuesday as the Lady Cardinals celebrated Brooke Tickle’s Senior Night.
The Cards took 20 games off the Villains this time and nearly forced a set tiebreaker at the top two spots.
At the top spot, Tiffany King dropped the first three games to Kyndall Cortes. After that, she played evenly with the Villain before falling 6-3, 6-4.
Haley Manuel was trailing just 4-5 in the first set and nearly tied the match at 5-all before Morgan Auger won 6-4, 6-2.
Tickle lost the first five games against Anna Owen, then won three of the next seven games before Owen pulled out a 6-1, 6-2 win on Court Three.
Allie Hawks lost in straight sets to Adaire Hudson, but Kidd said he didn’t have her score recorded.
At the fifth spot, Bishop’s Anna Petrangeli won 6-0, 6-0 over Mikayla Manuel.
At sixth, East’s Sarah Gibson lost to Nicole Saia 6-3, 6-1.
In doubles, King and Haley Manuel lost to Cortes/Owen 8-3. Tickle and Hawks lost to Auger/Saia 8-4.
Mikayla Manuel and Gibson lost to Hudson/Petrangeli 8-0.
The Northwest coaches will meet Saturday to finalize plans for next week’s conference tournament.
In individual play, the top three singles players and top three doubles teams will advance to the regional tournament. For dual-team playoffs, Mount Airy and Bishop are in, and Bear Coach Scott Kniskern said it looks like North Stokes will get a spot, too.
If the Bears and Villains are still tied for first at the end of the week, the teams will need a third meeting to determine who gets the top seed for the Northwest. If that happens, East Surry will host that match on Monday as a neutral site.
The youthful Cards have only one senior this season. Tickle has been a starter all four years.
As a freshman, Tickle was young and inexperienced, but the Cards only had six players on the team, so she was forced into the starting lineup as the sixth seed.
That same year, she swam and played soccer.
As a sophomore, she replaced swimming with JV basketball, but by her junior year she had decided to focus just on tennis and soccer.
Last season, Tickle earned honorable mention for the Northwest All-Conference Team.
Brooke has taken several A.P. courses as well as HOSA (health occupations) classes, said mom Angie Tickle. She hasn’t chosen a college yet, but intends to study nursing.
She has such a tough academic schedule that dad Robert wonders how Brooke manages to balance school work and practices.
Brooke has had a different coach all four years, Robert said, but he is proud of the improvement she has made in her play. He also is proud of her honesty on making line calls and her good sportsmanship.
She has a great attitude and made coaching the team enjoyable, said Kidd, who moved up from the middle school to coach this season.