DOBSON — No one can accuse Surry Central of starting its tennis season off easily. Neither can anyone say the four-time defending Western Piedmont 2A champs didn’t rise to the occasion.
The Lady Eagles began their season by hosting East Wilkes, last year’s Mountain Valley 1A/2A runner-up, and took five of the six singles matches en route to a 7-2 victory on Thursday evening.
Central, starting two seniors, three juniors and a sophomore, dropped just two sets in the singles, both coming at No. 4 singles, where the Lady Cardinals’ Lauren Rakes narrowly edged Haily Robertson 7-6, 6-4 for Wilkes’ only victory in that portion of the meet.
The rest of the singles were largely one-sided. Central’s Mattie Grace Snow was the first winner, dismissing the Lady Cards’ Jasmine Garcia 6-0, 6-1 in a match that was over in less than 45 minutes. At No. 3, the Lady Eagles’ Sarah Marion was only a little more challenged in defeating Faith Roberts 6-1, 6-2.
The No. 2 singles match saw Sarah Wyble blank Katie Stokes 6-0 in the first set, but get something of a fight in the second. Leading 3-2 in the set, Wyble broke Stokes, then held for 4-2, but trailed love-30 in set two before winning three straight long rallies in which each player hit a series of excellent shots. After the players reached deuce, Wyble hit two more back-to-back winners to go up two breaks, and held for the 6-2 set win.
At No. 5 singles, Central sophomore Mamie Smith outlasted Jordan Schubart 6-4, 6-3. Top seed Hannah Pardue had the toughest challenge of the five Lady Eagles who won their singles matches. She had to win one extra game to claim a 7-5 first-set win, then got a break in set two and won it 6-4.
Surry Central already had the team win, but doubles remained to be played, and the Lady Eagles won two of the three. Pardue and Wyble teamed up at No. 1 doubles and downed Nance and Roberts 8-4, while Smith and Snow rolled to an 8-2 win over Schubert and Bailey Johnson. The No. 2 doubles match, which pitted Wilkes’ Stokes and Rakes against Marion and Robertson, was close throughout, with the visitors pulling out an 8-6 victory.
Central gets the next three days off before going after another set of Lady Cardinals. The Lady Eagles will host East Surry on Monday evening. East Surry defeated East Wilkes 5-4 earlier this week.