Elizabeth Marion didn’t know what to expect from the Mount Airy tennis team after the first day of practice.
After losing five of the six starters from last year’s squad, the Granite Bears only had six girls show up to the first tryout.
However, the Granite Bears (7-0) are seemingly right on track and still maintaining the program’s lofty expectations in 2015.
The Mount Airy girls continued their dominance on Tuesday with a 9-0 win over Walkertown in their Northwest Conference opener.
“We’re 7-0, we’ve got a strong top six, and now we have enough players to play exhibition,” Marion said. “Everything is headed in the right direction.”
Marion was the first Granite Bear to complete her match in a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The sophomore is the only returning starter (after second seed Bailey Jackson didn’t return), and she is undefeated as Mount Airy’s two seed.
“I have stopped playing ping-pong I guess,” Marion said. “I don’t keep the point going at their pace. I look for my shot and keep the point at my pace and go for winners.”
It wasn’t just Marion who excelled against Walkertown. Lauren Brintle, Mount Airy’s top seed, cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Coleman Craddock, Maya Hicks and Elizabeth Bray also finished their singles’ matches in a sweep. Logan King defeated her opponent 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles, Brintle and Craddock notched an 8-1 win. Marion teamed up with Hicks to produce an 8-0 result while King and Bray also won their doubles’ match in a sweep.
However, Mount Airy must now face the most grueling stretch of its schedule as conference play starts to heat up.
The Granite Bears have two more matches this week, one on the road at West Stokes and another at home against the challenging North Stokes Vikings.
Then, next week, Mount Airy will have to play the defending state champion in Bishop McGuinness on Sept. 8.
“We just have to stay focused this week,” Marion said. “We can’t let them intimidate us. We have to stay strong and play our hardest like we know we can.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16