WALKERTOWN — A few days after narrowly suffering its first loss of the season, the Mount Airy tennis team got back on track Monday afternoon with a 9-0 sweep of Walkertown in the Granite Bears’ conference opener.
Mount Airy (5-1, 1-0 Northwest 1A Conference) swept all six singles matches in straight sets, with no one losing more than four games in any individual match. The doubles was a sweep as well, although two of the teams made it interesting early by losing service games and falling behind before storming back.
Three Bears narrowly missed double-bagel wins, losing just one game along the way. Number two seed Emory Bray was the first, routing Wesley Briles 6-1, 6-0 for a 1-0 lead in the team score. No. 5 Kaleb Morrison won his first eight games against Alex Marshall before the latter held serve for the only time in his 6-0, 6-1 defeat. Next up was Cayden Hill, who downed Grant Norman by the same score at No. 6 singles. Hill came even closer to the shutout. He was serving for the match at 6-0, 5-0 when he lost serve and had to break back to secure the win.
Top-seeded Hunt Harrison had it almost as easy in putting the ledger at 4-0 in favor of the visitors. Jarod Gandy held serve once against him in the first set and then scored a break at 3-0 in the second, but Harrison won out after that, 6-1, 6-1. That left Hunter Eaton to secure the team victory with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Lucas Dickson at No. 3. Owen Perkins wrapped up the sweep of the singles with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 4. He was up 4-1 in the first set when he dropped a break, but he got it back at 5-3 and then won set two easily.
In doubles, Perkins and Hill were broken at the start of the match, apparently got mad about it, and then romped to an 8-1 rout of Norman and Rich Lyons. Eaton and Morrison, playing at No. 2, did something similar but even more dramatic. They lost their first three games to Gandy and Woody, then earned five service breaks and took the lead at 6-5 en route to an 8-5 win. This left the top doubles team of Harrison and Bray as the last ones on the court, but they soon polished off Briles and Dickson 8-3 to conclude the match.
The Bears will return to the courts on Thursday afternoon to face conference rival Atkins.