PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry boys varsity tennis team lost its first match of the season at home on Wednesday 5-4 to the West Stokes Wildcats in a tight game that was tied up as the teams went into the doubles matches.
The afternoon was a cold windy one at East Surry with strong gusts of wind definitely affecting the game, according to players and coaches. Many lobs in the game went farther than usual and some of the tennis players said they often compensated by trying to keep the ball lower which sometimes led to hits in the net.
In the singles, the teams play the best two sets out of three, and in doubles, the team that wins 10 games is the winner.
At the first-seeded position, Cardinal Tanner Hartley played against Wildcat Andrew Holmes. Holmes won the set 6-3, 6-0. At the number two spot, Wildcat Andrew Spainhour won over Cardinal Canean Johnson 6-0, 6-0.
At the third-seed position in what was a tough battle, Wildcat Jacob Covington rallied from behind in two sets and won 7-5, 6-4 over Austin Johnson. At the fourth seed, Cardinal Zach Koons defeated Wildcat Sam Elter 6-2, 6-2.
At the fifth-seed position, Cardinal Daniel Hancock beat Wildcat David Gravitt 6-2, 6-2. At the sixth seed, Tyler Pardue won over Frank Sells 6-2, 6-4.
The first-seeded doubles team Hartley and Austin Johnson were ahead 6-5, but the Wildcats rallied back for a win of 10-8 to take the win overall on Wednesday in what turned out the deciding set for the overall win.
Also in doubles, the second-seeded Canean Johnson and David Hancock lost 2-10, while third seeds Koons and Pardue won 10-3.
Cardinals Head Coach Lindsey Haywood said the Cards battled hard and with heart, and she said she would make any adjustments necessary.
“I was proud of their effort,” she said, adding several players came into the season unseeded and handled the competition very well against the Wildcats.
Cardinal Austin Johnson, also a basketball player, said about his first tennis match of the season, “If I play a sport, every sport I play, I like to play competitive.”