DOBSON — Round one of the showdown for first place in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference was a rout.
Both Forbush and Surry Central arrived at Monday’s tennis match unbeaten at WPAC play, the Lady Falcons at 5-0 and the Lady Eagles at 7-0. After roughly two hours on the court, it was Central who kept their zero, crushing Forbush 9-0 and putting a stranglehold on its fifth straight conference championship.
Although it will be a few more days before the Lady Eagles (12-0, 8-0 WPAC) can officially clinch the 2017 title, only a collapse of monumental proportions can stop them now. Central, ranked No. 9 in the state’s 2A ranks by the N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association, didn’t drop a single set in winning its 48th consecutive match since moving up to the 2A ranks in 2013.
The victory was assured even before the teams stepped on the court for the doubles. The Lady Eagles won two of the six singles matches in double-bagel fashion, and no Central player lost more than four games in any set. The Nos. 1 and 5 singles saw Hannah Pardue blank Alyssa Southern, and Mamie Smith do the same to Mollie Hennings. The others weren’t much closer. At No. 2, Sarah Wyble downed Stephanie Swain 6-1, 6-2. She was followed by Sarah Marion topping Megan Smith 6-3, 6-0 at third singles, and Haily Robertson’s 6-2, 6-1 win over Lindsay Ray. The No. 6 singles match was a 6-1, 6-4 victory for Mattie Grace Snow over Rachel Dixon.
Central kept it up in the doubles. Pardue and Wyble teamed up to shut out Southern and Smith. Marion and Robertson defeated Swain and Hennings 8-2, and Smith and Snow scored an 8-4 victory over Ray and Dixon.
Smith and Snow remain unbeaten in singles for the Lady Eagles; Smith is 11-0 and Snow 12-0. As a doubles team, they have lost just once, with a 10-1 slate.
The Lady Eagles will play Forbush (7-5, 5-1) again today in East Bend, and travel to North Surry on Thursday. Wins in both matches will assure Central of no worse than a tie for the conference crown.