It might be harder to win this tournament than it will be to win the state championships later this month.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mount Airy High School will play host to the 2016 Northwest 1A Conference girls’ tennis tournament, where the top players from the Nos. 1, 2 and 4 ranked teams in the state will take to court for individual honors, along with a few standouts from teams that didn’t earn a spot in the polls.
Mount Airy and East Surry each have two doubles teams in the 10-team doubles tournament, which will get under way this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. on the MAHS courts. Two players from each school will also compete in the singles, where players from the top-ranked Lady Bears, co-No. 2 Bishop McGuinness, and No. 4 East Surry will also have to contend with individual standouts Diana Alexandrov and Yinka Mason of Atkins.
Only two local players will be competing in the preliminary-round action at 4:30. East Surry’s Sarah Mann will play Morgan Rogers of North Stokes in one match, with the winner advancing to play Alexandrov at 6:30. In the other prelim, the Lady Cardinals’ Carson Payne will play North Stokes’ Alyssa Collins for the right to take on Bishop’s Becky Auger at 6:30.
In the other 6:30 singles matches, the Lady Bears’ Elizabeth Marion will play Bishop’s Kennedy Barber and the host team’s Bailey Jackson will play Mason.
None of the local entries will have to play a preliminary-round match in doubles. At 6:30, however, two very familiar foes will square off in one of the quarterfinal doubles matches. The Lady Bears’ Logan King and Elizabeth Bray and East Surry’s Klaudia Tucker and Mikayla Manuel played each other twice during the regular season. On Sept. 13, the Mount Airy pair won 11-9, but on Oct. 6, the Lady Cardinals turned the tables on them and prevailed 8-6.
In another quarterfinal, the Lady Bears’ No. 3 doubles team of Maya Hicks and Lisa Omuro will take on Bishop’s No. 2 doubles team of Marion Sloyan and Lydia Cortes. Meanwhile, East Surry’s top doubles team of Haley Jennelle and Abigail Martin will be in action against the winner of a preliminary match between North Stokes’ Tessa Sprinkle and Brianna Lester and Atkins’ Rose Arnold and Sommer Stephens.
Semifinals, finals and third-place matches in both the singles and doubles will play on Wednesday at 4:30 and 6:30.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.