EAST BEND — It’s a case of ‘maybe next year’ for the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference.
Both Surry Central and Forbush went into their tennis matches this week unbeaten in WPAC play. After playing each other on two consecutive evenings, the Lady Eagles stand alone.
Tuesday’s rematch at Forbush was somewhat more competitive than the blowout win that Central enjoyed the day before on its own courts, but the verdict was still 9-0 in favor of the state’s ninth-ranked 2A team, which is now incidentally 9-0 in conference play.
Surry Central (13-0 overall) wasn’t much challenged except in two of the singles matches. At No. 3, Forbush’s Megan Smith surprised the Lady Eagles’ Sarah Marion and won the opening set. However, Marion responded with a fury, scoring three service breaks in a 6-0 second set that forced a match tiebreaker, which she also won for a 3-6, 6-0, (10-5) victory. The fourth singles didn’t require the match tiebreaker, but each of the sets went to a set tiebreaker before Haily Robertson could outlast the Falcons’ Lindsay Ray 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2).
At the top of the order, top-seeded Hannah Pardue downed Alyssa Southern 6-1, 6-0, and No. 2 Sarah Wyble was leading 6-2, 2-1 when Stephanie Swain had to retire with an injury. Swain was unable to return for the doubles, although she was able to play the next day.
As usual, the Lady Eagles were chalk at the bottom half of the lineup. Mamie Smith beat Molly Hennings 6-0, 6-3 at fifth singles, and the No. 6 match was a 6-2, 6-0 win for Mattie Grace Snow over Rachel Dixon.
With the Falcons’ doubles lineup a player short, Forbush had to shuffle its lineup, and Central cruised in all three matches. Hennings and Dixon took four games from Smith and Snow before falling 8-4, but the others weren’t competitive at all. Pardue and Wyble won 8-2 at No. 1 doubles and Marion and Robertson turned the No. 2 into a bagel.
Central is now one win away from clinching no worse than a share of the league title, two away from winning it outright, and three wins away from the first perfect regular season in Lady Eagle tennis history. They travel to North Surry today, seeking their 50th straight conference victory.