SILER CITY — One of the best seasons in recent memory for the East Surry girls’ tennis team came to a close on Saturday with a 5-1 loss to Chatham Charter (16-1) in the second round of the 1A NCHSAA dual-team playoffs.
The match started Thursday but was postponed due to inclement weather. The Cardinals came into Saturday trailing 3-1 and needing one win to force the doubles matches, but Chatham Charter swept the remaining two singles contests for the victory.
The Lady Cardinals wrap up the season with a 14-4 record under first-year coach Ashley Powell.
Highlights of this year included East Surry’s 7-2 win over rival Mount Airy and a 5-0 victory over Surry Central, the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference champions, in the first match of the season.
The Cardinals also narrowly lost to Bishop McGuinness on two separate occasions. The Villains are the defending state champions, but East Surry went toe-to-toe with them, going 7-11 against Bishop.
Three seniors played their final match for East Surry on Saturday. Tiffany King, Makayla Keener and Allie Hawks combined for a 31-20 record in singles matches this season, and the King-Keener doubles pairing went 8-4.
One of the best signs for the Lady Cards’ future is the success its returning players experienced this season. Junior Klaudia Tucker was the four-seed this season for East Surry, and she went 15-2 in singles matches. Mikayla Manuel (fifth) and Haley Jenelle (sixth) went undefeated in the regular season, each posting a record of 16-0.
Manuel combined with freshman Abigail Martin in a 12-1 season out of the No. 3 doubles position. Martin will have a greater role next season as East Surry will need to replace its three top seeds.
As for Chatham Charter, the Knights will move on to the third round of the playoffs Tuesday, hosting Mount Airy, who defeated Elkin on Thursday.