Last updated: April 16. 2014 11:31PM - 610 Views
By - jlinville@civitasmedia.com



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West Stokes wrapped up the first-ever Western Piedmont Conference tennis title by beating North Surry 6-3.


The Wildcats finished the regular season in first place, Surry Central second and North Surry in third.


The Greyhounds honored their lone senior before the final home match. Samuel Holder was an honorable mention for all-conference as a freshman and likely will earn his third all-conference first-team honor next week.


Samuel has taken on the other team’s best player every match for the past two seasons, said Coach Drew Belton. He has given North a great four years.


On this day, however, Holder couldn’t get past West’s Andrew Holmes in a 6-3, 6-1 loss.


At the second spot, Corbin Willard went to three sets before falling to Sam Elter 6-1, 3-6, 10-4.


Alex Jones is usually the team’s third seed, but had been sick this week, noted Belton. Alex could have stayed home and rested, but he went to school so that he would be eligible to play in this match.


Knowing the player wouldn’t be 100 percent, Belton dropped him down to fourth and let Elijah Bryant play in the third spot.


Elijah was overwhelmed in the first set and lost 6-0, but he dug in, battled and really put up a fight in the second set before falling to George Blankenship 6-4.


Jones lost the first set 6-2, but then rebounded to take the next one 6-4 and then the tiebreaker 10-8 over Jacob Covington.


Fifth seed Mason Taylor won over David Gravitt 6-1, 6-4, closing the gap to 3-2.


Sixth seed Cameron Shore lost to Andrew Spainhour 6-1, 6-1.


Down 4-2, the Hounds would have needed all three doubles matches to pull out a win, but West Stokes took two of three.


Holder and Willard lost to Holmes/Elter 8-4. Taylor and Shore lost 8-3 to Covington/Gravitt.


Jones got his second win of the day when he and Bryant came from behind for a 9-7 win over Blankenship/Spainhour.


They trailed 7-6 and were just a game from losing, noted Belton. They broke Spainhour’s serve and then held their own to take an 8-7 lead. Then they broke Blankenship’s serve for the win.


“They are number one in our conference for a reason,” Belton said of the Wildcats.


Next up is the conference tournament hosted by West Stokes Monday and Tuesday.


Matches begin at 2 p.m. If the matches go quickly enough, Belton said the players could play all the way through the finals on Monday. That would leave just the third-place matches for singles and doubles for Tuesday.


Unlike the past few years, the Greyhounds are in a 2A-only league. The Western Piedmont gets four slots in singles and for doubles for the 2A regional tournament.

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