Mount Airy’s tennis team has already played its share of tiebreaker sets this season, and the Granite Bears faced another one when East Wilkes came calling on Thursday evening.
However, this one, which was won by Mount Airy’s No. 3 singles seed Hunter Eaton, wasn’t the difference between winning and losing.
The Bears (3-2 overall) already led 3-0 in the team score when Eaton stormed back to win his match 1-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-5) against the Cardinals’ Josiah Sparks. Mount Airy went on to win five of the six singles matches and already had the team win before the doubles, which the Bears also swept for an 8-1 victory.
Eaton’s early troubles in his match were caused by a poor service game. He won just one game on serve in set one, but righted the ship after that. He won the first five points of the tiebreaker and three of the final four. Wilkes got a point when Dylan Ward took the No. 6 singles 6-2, 6-0 over Cayden Hill, but Owen Perkins won at No. 5, 6-4, 6-4 over Abram Sparks, to close out the singles and win the match for the Bears.
The match started out as a walk in the park. Mount Airy led 1-0 when top-seeded Emory Bray downed Nick Wooldredge 6-0, 6-2, and 2-0 after Kaleb Morrison downed Ty Cleary 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4. Bray and Morrison are both unbeaten this season. Second-seeded Harrison Morris downed Easton Wagoner 6-1, 6-2 for the third point.
The No. 2 doubles was the only one that was a serious challenge for the Bears. Top-seeded Bray and Morris hammered Wagoner and Cleary 8-1, while the third-seeded team of Perkins and Hill were trading with Josiah Sparks and Andrew Walker until the score was 5-4. Then the Bear team won out to take the victory. At No. 3, Eaton and Morrison were challenged by Wooldrdge and Abram Sparks, losing four of the first five games and not pulling even until it was 6-6. At this point, they earned a break to take the lead and then held for 8-6 victory.
Mount Airy visits Forbush on Monday.