MILLERS CREEK — The women’s tennis team wrapped up a good week of play with back-to-back wins over West Wilkes and Alleghany.
On Tuesday, Ashe traveled to West Wilkes and escaped with a 5-4 win in a nail-biter.
The match came down to the final doubles match that eventually went into a tiebreaker. The Ashe County duo of Morgan Church and Josie Cooper won the match 9-8 after an 11-9 tiebreak victory.
The Blackhawks returned all but one of its top six seeds from last season and entered this match with a 2-0 mark in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.
“This was a great win for us and gives us momentum as we move forward,” said Ashe County head coach Larry Dix. “I am very proud of these ladies and the way they represent our school and community.”
Lady Husky top seed Keely Caddell scored a 7-5, 6-3 win over Elizabeth Walker.
The battle of second seeded players went to the Blackhawks. McKayla Bumgarner edged Morgan Church.
Ashe was able to take the next two singles matches with a 6-1, 6-3 win for Caroline Current over Amanda Eddins and a 6-3, 6-0 victory for Josie Cooper against Lindsey Matheny. This was Cooper’s first match playing singles for Ashe.
Fifth seeded Katherine Minton needed a third set tiebreaker to beat Ashe’s Kaylie Fernandez. Fernandez took the first set, 6-3, but Minton rallied to when the second set, 6-3, to force the tiebreak. Minton held on for a 10-7 tiebreak win.
In the final singles match, Anna Corley continued her solid play with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Alexa Bumgarner.
West Wilkes evened the overall score by winning two of the three doubles matches, but thanks to the strong performance by Church and Cooper, Ashe was able to get the team victory.
Ashe returned to the court on Thursday to face Alleghany. The Lady Huskies easily handled Alleghany with a 9-0 win.
“This was a good conference win for us. We played well and hit some good ground strokes and lobs against a slower paced team,” said Coach Dix.
Everybody played well in their respective matches. All six singles matches were straight set victories.
Caddell beat Maggie Wishnum, 6-1, 6-0. Church defeated Leah McGrady by a 6-3, 6-1 score and Current was a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Iridean Lopez.
Cooper kept Yannia Nordelo from winning a single game on the way to the 6-0, 6-0 win. Fernandez notched a 6-1, 6-1 win against Cassidy Cleary and Corley completed the singles sweep with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Katelyn Davis.
Coach Dix was pleased with the way the team played, especially working more on consistency and using the entire court to their advantage.
In doubles play, the pairings were changed from previous matches.
“We made some changes in doubles just to try out new team combinations and to examine strengths and weaknesses,” said Dix. “I am very proud of our progress and development.”
Caddell teamed up with Cooper to get an 8-1 win over Wishnum and McGrady. Church and Current took down Lopez and Nordelo by an 8-3 score and the team of Fernandez and Callie Powell picked up an 8-2 win against Cleary and Teri Hall.
The tennis team returns to the court at home against Elkin on Tuesday. Ashe will have another home match this week as well against Starmount on Thursday.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87