Afternoon rain has affected the Mount Airy tennis team on the number of occasions this season, but little seems to slow down the top-ranked Lady Bears on the court.
Mount Airy, 13-1 on the season with its only loss coming when it played shorthanded at 4A Reagan, picked up another victory on Wednesday afternoon despite a two-hour delay while the players first waited out an afternoon shower and then had to clear the water off the courts in order to play. In spite of that, plus an injury to No. 1 singles player Bailey Jackson, the Lady Bears still beat North Surry 8-1.
The Lady Hounds (3-4) received their only victory when Jackson had to default her singles match against Cassidy Willard. Mount Airy was already missing Elizabeth Marion, who has alternated with Jackson as the team’s top seed and also been out of the lineup on occasion with a nagging injury. Neither is expected to be out long-term, but it didn’t help the team on Wednesday. However, everyone else was at the top of their games.
The match actually started with the doubles, as three of the courts were ready for play sooner than the others. Mount Airy took a 1-0 lead when Logan King and Elizabeth Bray downed Emily Smith and Emma Nichols 8-0 at No. 2. Shortly after that, Maya Hicks and Lisa Omuro scored an 8-0 win over Catherine Parsons and Callie Willard in the No. 3 doubles match.
Jackson was able to play in the No. 1 singles match, where she paired with Meredith Marion. The tandem got a fight from North’s Cassidy Willard and Cassie Barker. Willard and Barker actually held a 4-3 lead before Jackson and Marion won four straight games to lead 7-4. However, they lost that game and then were broken while serving for the match at 7-5, and had to break back to win 8-6.
The Lady Hounds got on the board when Jackson was unable to continue for singles. The singles matches were played to a single set, with 10 games needed for a win. King opened up with a 10-2 win over Smith to make it 4-1 in favor of the Lady Bears. Bray was the next to complete her match, beating Callie Willard 10-1 at No. 5 singles to secure the team win. In short order, No. 6 Marion beat Nichols 10-2, No. 4 Omuro topped Parsons 10-3, and No. 3 Hicks rallied from a 4-1 deficit to defeat Barker 10-6.
Mount Airy resumes play on Monday at home against Forbush. The team will honor its five senior players during this match. North Surry visits Carver today and then travels to Surry Central on Tuesday.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.