DOBSON — You can’t do any better than the Surry Central tennis team has this fall.
The Lady Eagles began their season back on Aug. 17 with high hopes and even higher expectations, as one would expect of a four-time defending conference champion.
Surry Central beat East Wilkes 7-2 that evening, an impressive result considering that the Lady Cardinals have been ranked in the state’s 1A top 10 all season long. But it was just the start of a season where the Lady Eagles rewrote their school’s tennis record books.
On Wednesday evening, Central completed its regular season with a 9-0 sweep of visiting West Stokes, and with that, wrapped up a perfect 16-0 regular season. The Lady Eagles won their fifth straight Western Piedmont Athletic Conference title, and with a 12-0 conference slate in conference action, extended their streak of conference matches won to 52 in a row.
Surry Central’s undefeated season didn’t come against a bunch of cupcakes, either. Included in the 16 victims were four wins over teams ranked in the N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association rankings — one each over East Wilkes and Mount Airy, and two over East Surry, ranked No. 2 in the state’s 1A ranks.
The Lady Eagles, ranked 10th in the 2A version of the latest poll, are likely to be the No. 1 seed in the 2A West Regional when the seeding for the dual-team playoffs is announced on Monday, Oct. 16. The playoffs will begin two days later. In the meantime, Central will compete for berths in the individual state playoffs next week in its conference tournament.
There was never much doubt about the outcome on Wednesday. Central had already beaten West Stokes once, but the team has taken care not to take any opponent lightly, and weren’t about to start with school history beckoning to them. It was also senior day for Sarah Wyble and Edi Nixon, and Wyble, a four-year starter, wanted her last regular-season home match to be a special one.
It was. Wyble, playing No. 2 singles, scored a double-bagel win over Torrie Preston. The Lady Eagles were up 3-0 in the team tally in no time, as Central’s strength at the lower third of its lineup once more made itself felt. Mattie Grace Snow double-bageled Ramsey Miller at No. 6 singles, and Mamie Smith almost did the same at No. 5, downing Rhyan Sapp 6-1, 6-0. Central got another singles when after Stokes’ No. 3 player was unable to compete, handing Sarah Marion a walkover. Haily Robertson secured the fourth singles, the team match, and the perfect regular season by defeating Sarah Sells 6-1, 6-2. The Lady Wildcats’ top player, Sydney Preston, made Hannah Pardue work a little to complete the singles sweep, 6-3, 6-4.
Because of Stokes’ missing player, Pardue and Wyble received a walkover at No. 1 doubles. Marion and Robertson scored an 8-4 win over Sells and Torrie Preston, while Smith and Snow beat Sapp and Miller 8-2.