MOORESVILLE — One thing is for certain. Surry County will be represented in the Final Four of the NCHSAA 1A dual-team tennis championships.
East Surry kept its date in the state quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon, as the state’s sixth-ranked 1A team rolled to an easy 5-1 victory over host Pine Lake Preparatory Academy, the champions of the Southern Piedmont Conference.
The Lady Cardinals (18-3) made short work of the Pride by winning five of the six singles matches and not even having to contest the doubles. Pine Lake Prep (8-3-1) earned its only victory at No. 2, where Haley Frye was able to claim a 6-3, 6-1 win over East’s Klaudia Tucker.
East Surry will visit No. 1 Mount Airy in an all-Northwest conference match tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. on the Lady Bears’ court. Mount Airy (24-1) escaped NW1A rival Bishop McGuinness 5-4 in its second-round match Tuesday.
The Pride had chances to make this a much closer match and even to force the Lady Cardinals to play the doubles. At No. 1 singles, East’s Haley Jennelle won the first set 6-4 over Meg Cauley, but then seemed to fall apart in the second as Cauley blanked her 6-0. However, Jennelle found her form again in the match tiebreaker and was able to pull out a 6-4, 0-6, (10-6) victory.
The No. 5 singles match also went to a tiebreaker after the Lady Cardinals’ Mikayla Manuel and Pine Lake’s Grace Kuechler split their sets. The same thing occurred here, with Manuel winning the first set and losing the second before bouncing back in the tiebreaker to prevail 6-3, 4-6, (10-3).
East Surry won the other three matches in straight sets. At No. 3, Abigail Martin downed Cassidy Frye 6-4, 6-2. The No. 4 singles saw Sarah Mann earn a 6-2, 6-2 win over the Pride’s Sydney Zarsaclias. In the No. 6 singles, Carson Payne claimed a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mackenzie Bell.
The Lady Cardinals and Mount Airy met twice during the regular season, with the Lady Bears winning 6-3 on Sept. 13 at East Surry in a match decided by two tiebreaker sets in the singles won by Mount Airy. The Lady Bears won 8-1 on their home courts on Oct. 6.
The winner of Thursday’s match will play in the regional finals on Nov. 9, with the highest seed playing host. The state championship match will be held on Nov. 12 at the Burlington Tennis Center.