Hounds just miss playoff berth

KING — North Surry and South Stokes were about as evenly matched as two tennis teams could be this season. The two teams split a pair of regular-season meetings that were both very close, then finished tied for second place in the Western Piedmont 2-A Conference with identical 7-3 league slates.

A berth in the state dual-team playoffs was at stake for the Greyhounds and the Sauras on Thursday evening, in a match contested on the neutral West Stokes High School courts to break the tie. Unfortunately, two very close matches, one in singles and one in doubles, both went the way of the Sauras in a 5-4 result that sent South Stokes to the postseason.

The match hinged on the outcome at No. 3 singles, where South Stokes’ Kristen Denny outlasted Rebecca Parsons 10-6 in a third-set tiebreaker after each player had won a set by a 6-2 count. At No. 1 doubles, Taylor Tickle and Parsons dropped an 8-6 decision to Jenny Glidewell and Taylor Evans. A different outcome in either match would have sent the Hounds to the playoffs.

In the rest of the singles matches, Tickle beat Glidewell 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, but Evans downed North Surry’s Cassidy Willard 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2. The Hounds won at No. 4, with Emily Harrison stopping Kaitlyn Denny 7-5, 6-0; and at No. 6, where Cassie Barker blanked Antoinette France 6-0 in a match with only one set played. The Sauras’ Jenny Smith prevailed 6-3, 6-0 at No. 5 over Emily Smith.

In the other two doubles matches, Willard and Barker topped the two Dennys 8-3, but South Stokes’ Smith and France beat Harrison and Smith 8-2.

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