ELKIN — You win some and you lose some.
Mount Airy’s tennis team found that out on Monday and Tuesday of this week, when a pair of difficult road matches resulted in first a victory over Elkin, followed by a loss to 4A Reagan the next day.
The Lady Bears (3-2 overall) won four of the six singles matches against Elkin and appeared to be on their way to an easy win, but then had to hold on for dear life as the Buckin’ Elks, ranked fourth in the state’s 1A ranks and just one spot below their guests, mounted a furious rally in the doubles. Elkin won the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to tie the score, and it came down to a No. 1 doubles match where Elizabeth Marion and Olivia Perkins trailed 7-8 to Bianka Soos and Emma Henstock before earning a service break and forcing a tiebreaker for everything. They finally outlasted the Elkin pair 7-1 in the tiebreaker set to give Mount Airy the win.
Meredith Marion, Perkins, Ashtyn Myers and Olivia Malone won at 2-3-4 and 6 for the Lady Bears. At No. 1, Soos lost the first set but then rallied to beat Elizabeth Marion 2-6, 6-3, (10-8) in a tiebreaker. The No. 5 also went to a match tiebreaker, where Kenley Wells of the Elks completed a comeback to win 1-6, 6-1, (10-5).
Part of Mount Airy’s problem in the doubles was that Meredith Marion was injured in the singles and unable to continue; she also missed the entire match with Reagan. This meant that head coach Rodney Pell had to shuffle his lineup and two doubles teams changed. Malone and Hailey Martin were routed 8-0 by Wells and Casey Matthews. Then Myers and Tucker failed to hold a 5-2 lead at No. 2 doubles and lost 8-6 to Emma Henstock and Stephanie Kelly.
The older Marion and Perkins hadn’t teamed up all season. They led 2-1, but then lost a service break and trailed the rest of the match until Soos and Collins served for the match at 8-7. After breaking back, they earned a tiebreaker and won it in the last match still on the courts.
The next day against Reagan, the entire lineup was skewed and Mount Airy lost even before the doubles were contested. Because Meredith Marion was out, the Lady Bears’ 2-5 players all moved up one spot. Still, Perkins easily won her No. 2 doubles match 6-1, 6-1 over Claire Carter. Reagan won the rest.
The Lady Bears fared better in doubles, where Marion and Perkins improved to 2-0 as a team with an 8-1 win. The Lady Raiders won at No. 3, but Myers and Anna Kate Tucker defeated Hannah Large and Caroline Timmons 8-3 at No. 2.
Mount Airy will try to get healthy before taking on arch-rival Bishop McGuinnness on Tuesday of next week.