Following a tough loss to rival East Surry on Tuesday, the Mount Airy Lady Bears needed a decisive victory to get back on track. That’s just what the Bears got in a 9-0 victory against Forbush. Dominant singles performances and hard-fought doubles matches earned Mount Airy its seventh win of the season. The win kept the four-loss Bears in the fight for first in the conference, with Bishop McGuinness and East Surry only possessing two losses apiece.
Mount Airy has six matches remaining in the regular season. This includes a rematch against South Stokes, in which the Bears took the first meeting easily, another match against Forbush, two matches against North Stokes, and an opportunity at redemption against both Bishop McGuinness and East Surry.
The Bears came out swinging in singles. Anna Kate Tucker earned the Granite Bears’ first victory of the afternoon with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of the Falcons’ Mollie Hemmings. First seed Elizabeth Marion and second seed Meredith Marion only dropped one game apiece in their singles victories against Alyssa Southern and Stephanie Swain of Forbush.
Bear Ashtyn Myers had some trouble in the first set of the third seed match-up against Lindsay Ray, but was able to pull away for a 6-3 victory. Myers carried that momentum into the second set in which she blanked her opponent, putting the Bears up 4-0 in the match. Olivia Malone secured the victory for Mount Airy in the six seed match against Rachel Dixon. Malone won the first set easily 6-1 but began the second set down 1-2.
Malone proceeded to win five consecutive games to give her team the win. Olivia Perkins of Mount Airy left no doubt against Megan Smith in the battle of freshman third seeds. Smith gave up the most games of all singles matches, winning 6-2, 6-2 against her fellow first-year in the longest singles match of the day.
Forbush was not a team to go down without a fight, though. Both the number one and number two doubles teams of Forbush held leads against Mount Airy early in their respective matches. The number two doubles team of Mount Airy, consisting of Myers and Tucker, trailed Falcons Myers and Tucker 2-3 before going on a 6-1 game run to win the Bears first doubles match of the day.
The Marion sisters added another impressive victory to their resumes against Smith and Southern. Initially down 1-2, the dynamic Marion duo won four straight games to go up 5-2. Forbush attempted to make a comeback of its own but was too late, giving Mount Airy’s pair the victory, 8-4.
The undefeated duo of Perkins and Malone had another great showing against Ray and Dixon of Forbush. An 8-3 victory cemented the Granite Bears’ sweep and gave them a 7-4 record on the season.
Mount Airy’s next match will be pivotal to their conference and state ranking when they travel to Bishop McGuinness in hopes of avenging a 7-2 loss earlier in the season.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith