Thanks to bad weather last week, the 2018 tennis season started a week late for Mount Airy and North Surry, and with an non-conference showdown between the rival schools on Monday evening.
It turned out to be a strong debut for the defending Northwest 1A Conference co-champion Granite Bears, who swept their county rivals 9-0 in the first official match on the resurfaced tennis courts at Mount Airy High School.
Mount Airy, which returns five starters from last season and regains the services of No. 2 singles player Harrison Morris, who missed all of last season with a knee injury in preseason, lost just three games in sweeping the six singles matches. Morris, the team’s only senior, lost two games in the second set of his win over Connor Nichols. No. 6 singles player Cayden Hill beat William Gonzalez 6-1, 6-0. The other four matches were straight-set sweeps, with No. 1 Emory Bray defeating Cole Richardson, No. 3 Hunter Eaton downing Dalton Quesinberry, fourth-seeded Kaleb Morrison beating Caleb Doss and No. 5 Owen Perkins doing the same to Michael Martin. Eaton’s win was the first to be completed, Bray’s gave Mount Airy the team win, and the Morris-Nichols match was the last to finish up.
Strangely enough, all three of the games lost by Mount Airy were lost on serve. Gonzalez broke Hill at 3-0 in set one, and Nichols did the same to Morris at 1-0 and 4-1 in set two.
The Bears blanked the Greyhounds in doubles, with Bray and Morris winning at No. 1 over Richardson and Nichols, Eaton and Morrison doing the same at second doubles over Quesinberry and Martin, and Perkins and Hill beating Doss and Gonzalez.
Weather permitting, the Bears will travel to Reagan today. The team’s scheduled matches with R.J. Reynolds and East Wilkes which were postponed last week will be made up, but no date has been announced.
The Hounds are slated to travel to Atkins today for a Western Piedmont Athletic Conference match. North will make up its postponed match from last week with Walkertown on March 27.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.