North Surry’s tennis team started its season off on Tuesday night with a match that would have been a test even if the Lady Greyhounds were in midseason form.
North’s first interscholastic competition of the 2017 season came in a scrimmage match against North Iredell, a 3A playoff team last year that won 15 matches last fall and the postseason tournament of the North Piedmont 3A/4A Conference. With only two returning starters for the Lady Hounds, it was no surprise that the visiting Raiders had the upper hand on the court, but North Surry was competitive in many of the individual matches.
“This was our first scrimmage of the year after only four practices,” said North Surry coach Mark Parsons. “The results weren’t what we wanted, but the effort was there. I’m very proud of every player.”
North Surry returns just two starters from a team that finished second to perennial Western Piedmont Athletic Conference bully Surry Central last season. The Lady Hounds lost both of their matches to Central, but beat everyone else for an 8-2 league mark. Last year, Katherine Parsons and Callie Willard were North Surry’s Nos. 5 and 6 players in the lineup and often formed the team’s No. 3 doubles pairing as well. This year, they’ll be the top two, but 10 other players have come out for the team as well.
“We are very young and inexperienced, but all of the girls have worked hard and are dedicated to getting better,” Parsons said.
The top 10 players for each team played a single pro set in singles. North Surry’s No. 7 singles player, Kristin Goins, came the closest to a victory, falling 9-7 to Jana Whicker. Outside of that much, Parsons and Willard were the most competitive players for North. The Lady Hounds’ 11th and 12th players didn’t get to play, since the Raiders didn’t have enough players.
Other members of the team include Paige Smith, McKensie Bare, Olivia Mauldin, Kacey Wills, Courtney Thomas, Madison Stockman, Carley Freeman, Kiersten Walker and Keyanna Barnes.
North Surry was solid in two of the four doubles matches that were contested before darkness. Parsons and Willard’s match with Holly Griffin and Haley Griffin wasn’t completed, but the score was 6-4 when it ended. Stockman and Freeman played Keely Morrison and Taylor Dixon and lost 8-5.
North scrimmaged a second time on Thursday against East Wilkes. The Lady Hounds will officially begin their season on Monday at 4:30 p.m. at East Surry.
“We will be a different team when conference play comes around,” said Parsons. “Until then, who knows, maybe we will surprise some folks.”
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