PILOT MOUNTAIN — So far this season, nothing has been able to stop the Mount Airy tennis juggernaut.
East Surry was the latest victim of the undefeated Granite Bears on Tuesday afternoon, with the visitors sweeping all nine matches and losing a total of just 16 games in doing so. Mount Airy (9-0) was broken on serve just three times in the entire match and won seven sets by shutout.
The Cardinals’ task, which was already a difficult one, was made even more challenging by the fact that the team’s normal second seed, Austin Pardue, was not available for the match. This forced East Surry’s 3-6 players to each move up one spot, and put the team’s top reserve into the starting lineup.
The match opened with the Bears’ top seed, Hunt Harrison, shutting out Daniel Hancock 6-0, 6-0. At No. 2, Harrison Morris dropped a service break to Ryan Sigmon and was tied 2-2 in the first set, then won 10 straight games to close out the match. Gentry Williamson won the first set 6-0 from Ryan Sutterby and then surrendered two breaks in the second set before winning four straight games for a 6-0, 6-3 win.
Even before those three matches had been completed, No. 4 seed Emory Bray had already put Mount Airy on the board with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lucas Bonilla. No. 6 Owen Perkins clinched the team win with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Joey Kenyon, and No. 5 Grey Tucker closed out the singles with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Brady Jessup.
In the doubles, Harrison and Morris blanked Hancock and Bonilla 8-0, Williamson and Bray took an 8-2 victory over Sigmon and Kenyon, and Perkins and Hunter Eaton beat Sutterby and Jessup 8-4, simply holding serve on each turn after taking the first three games.
The Bears are 4-0 in conference play and have yet to lose an individual match to a league opponent in either singles or doubles.
Mount Airy could face a bigger test this evening, when county rival Surry Central comes into town for the first meeting between the two schools in 2016. In what amounted to the first round of an unofficial two-day Surry County shootout, the Golden Eagles beat North Surry on Tuesday. Following the match with the Golden Eagles, the Bears will be off 12 days for spring break and then resume play on April 4 at Bishop McGuinness.