Mount Airy’s doubles team of Lauren Brintle and Coleman Craddock cruised through the first two rounds of the Northwest Conference girls’ tennis tournament, but two familiar Villains were waiting in the final.
Bishop McGuinness’ top-seeded duo of Morgan Auger and Anna Petrangeli squared off with Brintle and Craddock at Mount Airy High School on Wednesday for the third time this season, but this match certainly had the highest stakes of the three.
When it was over, seniors Auger and Petrangeli improved to 3-0 this year against Brintle and Craddock. The Villains’ pair used some polished play at the net in a 6-2, 6-2 win to take home the Northwest doubles championship.
Earlier in the day, Brintle and Craddock defeated East Surry’s No. 2 doubles team of Allie Hawks and Klaudia Tucker 6-0, 6-2.
Hawks and Tucker faced fellow Cardinals Mikayla Manuel and Abigail Martin in the third-place match. Martin and Manuel dropped their semifinal bout to the eventual champions from Bishop McGuinness, 6-1, 6-1.
However, Manuel and Martin bounced back in the ensuing match against their teammates with a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
In singles, Mount Airy sophomore Elizabeth Marion was the only competitor from Surry County to make it into the second day. Marion faced a tough draw, going head-to-head with Atkins’ Makeena Mason, the tournament’s top seed, in the semifinal.
Marion led 4-3 in both sets and was thriving with her serve and forehand, but she couldn’t capitalize on her opportunities in either set. Mason advanced to the final with a 6-4, 7-5 win.
Marion couldn’t shake off the loss and fell to North Stokes’ Brittany Brown 7-5, 6-2 in the third-place match. The Mount Airy sophomore had an opportunity to take an early lead with a 5-4 advantage in the first set, but she was broken on serve and couldn’t salvage the opener.
Ten of the match’s 20 games resulted in service breaks.
It was an all-Atkins final in singles, as Mason faced off with her freshman teammate Diana Alexandrov. Mason rebounded from a tough first set, but it was the underdog who grabbed hold of the championship in a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory for Alexandrov.
All four doubles teams and singles competitors who reached Wednesday’s semifinals earned spots in the 1A regional next Friday.
In the meantime, Mount Airy (20-2, 10-2) and East Surry (13-3, 9-3) will shift their focus to the dual-team state tournament. The NCHSAA will release the bracket on Monday with the first matches scheduled for Tuesday.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16