PILOT MOUNTAIN — The signs of fall’s arrival that engulfed the community of Pilot Mountain in clouds and chilly weather couldn’t dampen the East Surry Lady Cardinals’ tennis team’s mood.
East Surry made quick work of the visiting Spartans from Community School of Davidson with a 5-1 victory. The second round playoff match-up was the first of the postseason for for the Cardinals, who earned a bye in round one.
East Surry’s dominance was especially shown in the middle seeds. Third-seed Sarah Mann was the first Cardinal on the scoreboard with a quick victory over the Spartans’ Anabelle Webb. The sophomore left no doubt with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Webb.
Up next was East Surry junior Carson Payne. Payne swept her opponent, Julia Scruggs, in the first set. Scruggs fought back in the second set but ultimately came up short, giving Payne a 6-0, 6-2 victory and the Cards their second match victory of the day.
After the middle seeds finished, up next were the top-seeded athletes. Haley Jennelle and her ferocious serve gave up two games in the first set to the visiting Grace DiGioia. Jennelle left DiGioia with a goose egg in the win column for the second set to give East Surry its third win of the match to the Spartans’ none.
The three remaining matches saw one player dominate the first set and the other try to mount a comeback in the second. In the second-seeded match between Cardinal Abigail Martin and Spartan Emma Scruggs, Martin won the first set with no problem, 6-2. The second set between the took much longer than the first three Cardinal victories. The match was back-and-forth, but saw Martin give East Surry win number four in the match.
Only one win away from clinching the match, it came down to the fifth and six seeds. East Surry’s Haley Gilley faced off against Becca Levi at number five, with Daphne Dotson taking on Davidson’s Alexa Levi at number six.
Both matches attracted the crowd’s attention, not knowing that the outcome of their respective matches could end the match overall. Gilley won the first set 6-0, but was having trouble in the second. Dotson was the opposite; she went down 0-6 in the first set, but was fighting for a second set victory.
It was Dotson who won her set 6-3 before Gilley did, sending the match to a third-set tiebreaker. However, Gilley won her second set 6-3 and captured the match for East Surry. Dotson finished her match, but came up short 3-10 in the tiebreaker.
East Surry (16-3) will face either Lincoln Charter or Polk County in the third round on Monday. The site of that match is to be determined.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith