WINSTON-SALEM — Three of the state’s top six 1A teams in the latest N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association can’t stop Surry Central.
Neither can a couple of state semifinalists from last year’s individual tournament.
The Lady Golden Eagles stayed on top of the 2017 WPAC race Tuesday afternoon, taking a bus ride down to Winston-Salem and once again taking care of league newcomer Atkins and its two individual standouts, seniors Yinka Mason and Diana Alexandrov, who each reached the state semifinals a year ago. The Lady Camels’ two stars once again contributed three team points for Atkins, but Surry Central’s top-to-bottom strength ruled the rest of the day and gave the Lady Eagles a 6-3 win.
Central, which entered the Association’s state 2A poll for the first time this season at No. 9 on Wednesday, improved to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play. The Lady Eagles haven’t won the conference yet, as Forbush (7-4, 5-0) still has to be taken care of, but it’s going to take a command performance for any team to take down Surry Central.
Even with its powerhouse top of the order, those three points Atkins earned weren’t easy. At No. 1 singles, Central’s Hannah Pardue took Mason all the way to a match tiebreaker before finally falling 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), (10-8). Alexandrov scored a win over Sarah Wyble at No. 2 as well, but when the four players faced each other in the No. 1 doubles match, one service break decided the match in favor of the Lady Camels, 8-5.
Only one other match was even competitive. At No. 4 singles, Haily Robertson needed a match tiebreaker to take care of Atkins’ Jackie Nikos, finally prevailing 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), (10-8) to give Central a 4-2 edge in the singles. At third singles, Sarah Marion had already sent Sommer Stephens packing, 6-2, 6-3.
The Lady Eagles’ Nos. 5 and 6 players, Mamie Smith and Mattie Grace Snow, continued their outstanding play at the lower end of the Surry Central lineup. Each player scored a double-bagel win over their Atkins opponent, and they liked bagels so much that they went and scored another one at No. 3 doubles, 8-0, to clinch the team win for the Lady Eagles.
Marion and Robertson earned an 8-3 victory over Stephens and Nikos for the last point of the evening.
The Lady Eagles will host Carver today in their final match of the week. Surry Central can all but secure its fifth straight WPAC title next week, when it hosts Forbush on Monday and then travels to East Bend the next day.