The Lady Greyhounds got their first tennis win of the season in resounding fashion, blanking Starmount 9-0 at home.
The Lady Rams didn’t go down easy, winning at least four games in seven of the 12 sets in singles.
Long rallies, several deuces and long sets tested the players’ endurance on a sunny, 88-degree afternoon.
“This was a really good win for us to get our season kicked off,” said coach Maggie McKee. The team showed a lot of determination and heart.
At one point in the first set, the third, fourth and fifth seeds were all trailing 4-5, but all three came back to win the set 7-5.
“They didn’t hang their heads,” said McKee. That told her a lot about the makeup of her girls.
The team opened the season with three tough opponents. North was trailing to Elkin when that match was rained out. Then it lost 8-1 to Mount Airy and 7-2 to East Wilkes, two teams who traditionally do well in tennis.
Midway through the singles play, it looked like the two teams might split the six matches. Top seed Taylor Tickle and second seed Cassidy Willard took their first sets, and sixth seed Amanda Downing had a dominant 6-1 set.
However, their teammates were trailing.
Then all three girls rallied to win three straight games and take the sets.
McKee said she was really happy for Emily Smith. The fourth seed came from behind to win the first set 7-5, then battled to a tiebreaker in the second set before winning 7-6 (7-5) over Alyssa Hicks.
Emily wasn’t in the lineup last year, so she is having to gain experience on the fly, said the coach. It shows that she has stepped up her game this season.
McKee said she was impressed by the one-sided performance of Downing, who lost just one game in two sets to Cherith McCullagh.
Rebecca Parsons trailed 4-5 in the first set, then didn’t lose again as she swept the second set against McKenzie Moxley.
Downing sat out doubles, but the Hounds took all three anyway by comfortable margins.
The Hounds will be at home again on Thursday to face the defending 1A state champion Bishop McGuinness.
1. Taylor Tickle 6-2, 6-4 over Amber Hurst
2. Cassidy Willard 6-3, 7-5 over Olivia Greene
3. Emily Harrison 7-5, 6-4 over Emily Mendenhall
4.Emily Smith 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) over Alyssa Hicks
5. Rebecca Parsons 7-5, 6-0 over McKenzie Moxley
6. Amanda Downing 6-1, 6-0 over Cherith McCullagh
Tickle/Parsons 8-3 over Hurst/Greene
Harrison/Smith 8-3 over Mendenhall/Hicks
Willard/Cassie Barker 8-1 over Moxley/McCullagh
Reach Jeff at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.