DOBSON — Both Surry Central and East Surry made waves in their respective tennis divisions in 2017. Central finished 16-1, falling to the eventual state champion Salisbury in the third round of the 2A State Playoffs, while East (18-4) reached the 1A State Final before losing to Raleigh Charter.
The Golden Eagles took both meetings between the schools in 2017 by a 5-4 margin. With each team returning a number of starters, their 2018 clash delivered as expected. This time it was East Surry that walked away with the victory by a 7-2 margin.
“I’m very proud of the ladies’ effort today,” said Cardinal coach Lyndsey Haywood. “We hope to continue to improve as we head into a very difficult conference season.”
Central began the day with its lone singles victory. Freshman Rachel Carter, the sole newcomer to the Lady Eagles starting six, earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory over East Surry’s Abbie Koons. East Surry evened the score soon after as third seed Carson Payne defeated Central’s Mattie-Grace Snow 6-2, 6-1.
At the top of the lineup, Cardinal Abigail Martin put East ahead with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Hannah Pardue.
Central’s Sarah Marion and East’s Sarah Mann did battle on the second court. Marion took the first set 6-2, and was winning the second set 4-3 before she withdrew due to injury. This put the Cardinals up 3-1 overall.
Haley Gilley earned East Surry’s fourth win of the day in the fourth-seeded singles match. Gilley pulled ahead late in the first set for a 6-4 victory and followed it up with a 6-2 win in the second set.
The world then turned attention to the fifth-seeded matchup of East Surry’s Rosie Craven and Surry Central’s Mamie Smith. Smith won the first set 7-5, but lost the second set 6-0. Rosie took the third-set tiebreaker 10-7 to wrap up a Cardinal victory.
In the top seed doubles, Martin and Mann faced the team of Pardue and Ellen Bryant, who substituted for the injured Marion. The Cardinal tandem put East Surry ahead 6-1 with their 8-1 doubles victory. Payne and Gilley earned East Surry’s final victory of the day in an 8-4 victory against Snow and Robertson.
Smith and Carter banded together against Rosie and Lili Craven and won Central’s second match of the evening by a 9-7 margin.
East Surry improves to 4-0 on the season and will travel to Elkin on August 28. Surry Central (1-1) returns to action the same day when they host Carver.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith