DOBSON — Surry Central’s dream season finally came to an end on Monday evening in the 2A state tennis quarterfinals, as perennial powerhouse Salisbury High School handed the Lady Eagles their first loss of the season.
Salisbury, which has won the state championship 10 times in its long history as a state tennis power, improved to 22-1 on the season. Surry Central, which had just one senior in its starting lineup this season, completes a memorable campaign with a record of 18-1.
The Hornets swept the six singles matches, which in state playoff competition means that the match comes to an end unless both teams wish to continue. In most cases, Salisbury was able to get up a service break early and then just play out the string, winning set after set.
The Hornets will play Lake Norman Charter today for the right to advance to the 2A state finals on Saturday in Burlington.
The best performance for Central came at No. 3 singles, where Sarah Marion won four games off Emma Nianouris in a 6-2, 6-2 loss. The Nos. 1 and 2 singles both ended in the same score. Maria Capito downed Hannah Pardue and Julia Honeycutt did the same to Sarah Wyble, a four-year starter for Surry Central who played in the last match of her career.
The lower end of the lineup provided no better luck for the Lady Eagles. Lillian Rusher beat Haily Robertson 6-1, 6-0; Meredith Burton downed Mamie Smith by the same score, and at No. 6, Bethanie Staffer beat Mattie Grace Snow 6-2, 6-0.
The powerhouse Hornets are yet to lose an individual match in the state tournament, and qualified five of their six starters to last week’s individual state championship tournament.
Surry Central will return everyone but Wyble next season as it goes for a sixth straight conference title and tries to better this year’s run to the elite eight of the playoffs.