Mount Airy’s tennis team hadn’t hit a serve or volley in anger for 13 days, but the Granite Bears showed little signs of rust when they returned to the courts on Monday evening.
The state’s fifth-ranked 1A team stepped out of Northwest 1A Conference and even North Carolina play for their first match back from spring break, routing visiting Galax 9-0 to improve to 8-3 on the season.
The Bears swept all six singles matches with no one losing more than four games in any, then blew through the doubles with no team losing more than two. The Maroon Tide, which was playing for only the third time this season, never seriously challenged any of the Mount Airy players.
The first match to finish set the tone for the day. Undefeated No. 1 Emory Bray won his first 10 games against Galax’ Noah Hutchens, then lost a service game before bouncing back for a decisive 6-0, 6-1 victory. By the time he was done, fourth-seeded Kaleb Morrison was nearing the end of his match against London Dickson. Morrison, now 10-1 on the season in singles, also blanked his opponent in the first set and then cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 victory.
Ryan Graham, taking on the Tide’s Luke Reeves in the No. 6 singles match, had a lot of trouble holding his serve, but little trouble breaking Reeves. Graham took the first set despite losing serve at 3-1 and 5-3, and then dropped the first game of set two on a break, but roared back to win out, 6-4, 6-1.
Hunter Eaton dropped two service games to William Patton at third singles, but after the second one, he won five consecutive games for a 6-3, 6-1 victory that put the Bears in front 4-0.
Harrison Morris then wrapped up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Coleman Morgan at second singles and the Bears secured the team victory. No. 5 seed Owen Perkins was the last singles player still on the court. He’d swept the first set from Isaac Hawks, but lost serve at 5-3 in set two and had to recover for a 6-0, 6-4 win.
The doubles were just as one-sided. Hutchens and Morgan scored a break to even the No. 1 doubles at 2-2, but then Bray and Morris won six straight games to take the match 8-2. Eaton and Graham won their first six games at No. 3, then dropped a break but won out from there, downing Patton and Reeves 8-1. Morrison and Perkins coughed up a break at 7-1 against Dickson and Hawks, but won the next game and the match concluded with an 8-2 victory in the second doubles.
The Bears will visit Walkertown in a non-conference match today.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.