The Lady Bears might have pulled off their best tennis performance of the season with a 9-0 sweep of rival Bishop McGuinness.
The Bears and Villains have been the top two teams in the Northwest Conference in recent years.
The first time they met this season, the Bears won 7-2, but as Coach Scott Kniskern noted, some of the matches were close, and Bishop could have won one or two more seeds.
In the middle of singles play, the Bears were trailing in three of the six matches.
Mount Airy looked good at the top two spots with Jordan Jackson and Davi Barbour.
Jackson won the first set over Kyndall Cortes 6-1 and would take the second 6-0. Barbour beat Morgan Auger by the same score.
At the third and fourth slots, however, the Bears were trailing early on.
Jade Hughes was behind 2-3 before straightening out her game and running off the last 10 games for a 6-3, 6-0 win over hard-hitting Adaire Hudson.
Next to Jade, Haley Thomas had a back-and-forth first set with Anna Owen.
Owen went up 2-1, then Thomas won two straight games to take the lead. Owen came back with two games for a 4-3 lead. Two more games gave Thomas a 5-4 lead.
The two wound up tied at 6-6 and were playing another game before the coaches interrupted to remind them that they had to play a seven-point tiebreaker.
Owen was already ahead 3-0 at this point and took the tiebreaker 7-4.
Thomas came back with a vengeance, sweeping the second frame 6-0, then winning the tiebreaker with her teammates cheering her on as the last singles match to finish.
On the fifth court, Bree Hughes raced through the first set quickly with a 6-1 win. Then she finished Megan McDowell 6-3 in the second.
At the sixth spot, Carley VanHoy fell behind early and lost the first set to Anna Petrangeli 1-6.
She came back with a 6-1 set of her own to force a 10-point tiebreaker. From a 4-4 tie, VanHoy pulled away for a 10-6 win.
“I was thrilled with their play today,” Kniskern said of his girls. “It was a good, hard-fought 9-0 win.”
Just like last time, there were some tough matches up and down the courts, but the Bears pulled them all out, he said. Bree and Carley avenged their losses from last time.
With the match wrapped up before doubles play, the Bears could relax.
Jackson and Bree Hughes beat Cortes and Owen 8-3. Barbour and Thomas won 8-3 over Hudson and McDowell.
VanHoy and Abby Hagwood topped Auger and Petrangeli 8-4.
The Bears improved to 10-0 in the conference and 13-2 overall. Mount Airy has been the only team atop the 1A coaches poll all season.