DOBSON — The final two matches of the 2015 tennis season were a real roller coaster for the Lady Huskies. Ashe had to face West Wilkes in a match last Thursday with the winner qualifying for the state playoffs and the loser saw its season come to an end.
Just as the previous two matches were with West Wilkes, this one came down to the wire. After playing for over four hours, Ashe held onto beat West Wilkes, 5-4.
“To say that this was a big win for us is an understatement,” said head coach Larry Dix. “Our win placed us in the top of the 2A conference and sent us forward to the dual team playoffs.”
Ashe scored four wins in the six singles matches.
Top seed Keely Caddell needed a third set tiebreaker to beat Liz Walter. Caddell won the first set, 6-2, but Walter battled back to take the second set, 6-4. In the tiebreaker, Caddell was up to the challenge and earned a 10-4 victory.
Third seed Caroline Current won in straight sets over Amanda Eddin, 6-4, 6-3. Fourth seeded Josie Cooper was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Lindsey Matheny and fifth seeded Callie Powell took a 6-3, 6-2 win against Katherine Minton.
West Wilkes’ McKayla Bumgarner easily handled Morgan Church, 6-1, 6-0 in the battle of second seeded players.
The final singles match went to West Wilkes with Gigi Gilbert beating Anna Corley, 7-6, 6-2 in the sixth-seeded match.
The Blackhawks grabbed a pair of doubles wins in the first and second matches to even the score at 4-4. With a playoff spot on the line, Ashe’s tandem of Cooper and Powell handed Minton and Gilbert an 8-3 loss.
“Our team played very well and I am so proud of their not giving up efforts. This team has come a long way this year and their efforts have paid off for them by making it to the playoffs,” said Coach Dix.
On Tuesday, Ashe traveled to Surry Central for the first round of the playoffs.
The match was another hard-fought battle, but the Lady Huskies suffered a tough 5-4 defeat to see its season come to an end.
“We had a great season particularly in light of having a young undeveloped team,” said Dix.
The two teams each got three wins in singles play with Surry Central winning the match by getting wins in two of the three singles matches.
Surry Central’s top seed Sommer Chilton beat Caddell in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3 and second seeded Mallory Wilmoth beat Morgan Church, 6-2, 6-0.
The third, fourth and fifth-seeded matches went in favor of the Huskies.
Current beat Hope Hinson, 6-1, 6-1. Cooper beat Sarah Wyble, 6-2, 6-3 and Powell defeated Anna Senter, 6-1, 6-3.
The final singles match was a 6-1, 6-1 win for Hannah Pardue over Anna Corley.
Wilmoth and Chilton teamed up to beat Caddell and Cooper, 10-4 in the first doubles match. Church and Current were able to keep Ashe tied with a 10-6 win over Hinson and Senter.
In the deciding match, Pardue and Wyble got the win to push the Eagles to the second round.
Surry Central will host the Central Academy Cougars in the second round.
For Ashe, three members of the team will head to individual regionals beginning this Friday in Salisbury. Keely Caddell qualified in the singles tournament while the doubles team of Morgan Church and Caroline Current qualified as well.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87