Surry Central’s tennis team already had its work cut out for it on a road trip to Mount Airy, the state’s fifth-ranked 1A team.
Trying to pull off the upset was going to be hard enough. Without their No. 1 seed, it was a rough afternoon for the Golden Eagles.
Central’s No. 1 seed, Guilford College-bound Brandon Norman, was unavailable for the singles portion of Monday’s match, which forced the team’s No. 7 player into the lineup and moved everyone else up a spot. The result was a lopsided singles part of the match in which Mount Airy (10-3 overall) swept all six matches and scored double-bagel wins in three of them.
Norman did play in the No. 2 doubles match, which was the only one of the three doubles matches that was competitive. Even at that, the Granite Bears swept the three doubles matches and won the match 9-0.
The singles went quickly. Third seed Hunter Eaton opened the match by shutting out Blake Woods. No. 1 Emory Bray did the same to Rodrigo Landeverde, and fourth-seed Kaleb Morrison blanked Alex Burns. No. 5 Owen Perkins lost just one game in beating Chris Chambers 6-1, 6-0, and second seed Harrison Morris lost only one game in downing Kevin Montero 6-0, 6-1. He was denied the shutout when Montero held serve late in the match, but Morris closed out the match and gave the Bears their fifth team point.
The No. 6 match between Ryan Graham and Tony Cortes was competitive. The two traded wins on serve until Graham held at 3-3 and 5-3 to win set one. He won the first three games of set two and held at 5-2 to finish a 6-3, 6-2 win.
Bray and Morris shut out Landeverde and Montero to win the top doubles match. The teams started the third doubles with Graham and Cortes still playing singles, and so Eaton teamed up with Luke Kirkman and shut out Burns and Jesse Vaughn of Central. Morrison and Perkins were facing Norman and Woods in the No. 2 doubles match. The Bear tandem won the first three games and held a 7-2 lead when Norman and Woods broke them, but Morrison and Perkins broke back at 7-4 to take the win.
Mount Airy travels to East Surry today for its conference finale, while Central (7-4) hosts Walkertown today.