DOBSON — Surry Central’s tennis team remains unbeaten after taking down Mount Airy 6-3 Thursday.
“This is the first time we’ve beaten Mount Airy in several years,” said Coach Mark Parsons. “It’s a big win for us. I’m excited to play well enough to beat them.”
This is the third victory this week for the Golden Eagles (4-0, 3-0 in the Northwest). They beat North Surry on Tuesday and East Wilkes on Wednesday.
“After learning of Central’s hard-fought victory over East Wilkes, we expected a tough contest today,” said Bear Coach Rodney Pell.
“In order to be the best, you have to beat the best,” said Parsons, and taking down two perennial powers goes a long way toward that goal.
While Mount Airy lost four seniors from last year’s team, the Eagles have plenty of experience back.
Top seed Luke Haymore and second seed Colby Chilton are four-year players. Third seed Zach Wilmoth and fourth seed Trent Day have been starters for three years.
Fifth seed Kirk Needham and sixth seed Weston Mosley were on the team last year, but not as starters, Parsons noted.
“These guys have been together and know how to play together,” he said.
The Eagles could have been even more experienced. Starter Alex Fowler didn’t come back out this season.
Fowler is a very smart young man who said he couldn’t give the team 100 percent as he prepares for graduation and college next year, the coach said. While he misses the senior, Parsons was proud of Fowler for thinking of his long-range goals.
As for this match, the Bears took a 1-0 lead as Mitch Kessler won 6-0, 6-2 over Haymore.
The Bears also held early leads in the other matches before the Eagles rallied.
Justin Leonard held a slim lead in both sets before losing to Chilton 7-5, 6-3.
Sam Brown was up 4-3, but Wilmoth came back for a 7-5, 6-2 win.
Blake Hensley won the first set 5-7, but Day took the second set 6-3. Then Day jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the tiebreaker and won 10-1. This was the third-straight day that Day has won in a third-set tiebreaker.
Jack Marion was up 4-3 in the first and 3-2 in the second, but Needham came back in each set to win 6-4, 6-3.
Gentry Williamson led 2-1, but Mosley came back to win 6-4, 6-2.
“Every match was winnable for the Bears,” said Pell. “Too many leads and rallies were left unfinished.”
In doubles play, Mount Airy’s Kessler and Hensley beat Haymore and Chilton 8-2. Kessler remains perfect in singles and doubles play.
Central’s Wilmoth and Day led 3-2 in the second match, but Leonard and Brown ran off five of the next six games to take a 7-4 lead in the eight-point match.
Wilmoth and Day came back to force an 8-8 tie. In the tiebreaker, Mount Airy prevailed 7-3.
In the third doubles match, Marion and Williamson won the first game, but Needham and Mosley came back to take a slight lead and kept going to an 8-6 win for the Eagles.
The Eagles next travel to East Surry on Tuesday. The Bears host South Stokes on Tuesday.