The season opener did not go as planned for the Lady Huskies. East Wilkes won eight of the nine matches to hand Ashe its first defeat of the young tennis season.
“We did not get off to the start I would have liked, but I am very proud of the way our players started the season against a good East Wilkes team,” said Head Coach Larry Dix.
A brief rain shower delayed the match and several long, close matches forced the teams to play for nearly five hours as sun quickly set behind the mountains.
In singles play, Ashe got its only win from fifth seeded Mary Austin Tugman as she defeated Abby Burchette in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.
In the battle of top seeds, Molly Callaway beat Ashe’s Hallie Brown in a third set tiebreaker. Callaway won the first set but Brown stormed back to take the second. In the tiebreak, Callaway held on for a 10-6 win.
Second seeded Shanisha White beat Maggie Witherspoon, 6-0, 6-1, fourth seeded Kayla Pardue beat Kasey Curcio, 6-4, 6-1 and sixth seeded McKenzie Stokes was a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Ella Copeland.
The third seeded match was a long one between Lady Husky freshman Grace Miller and Lady Cardinal Kennedy Lester. Lester took the first set by a 6-3 score, but Miller quickly bounced back and earned a 6-2 win. In the tiebreaker, Lester edged out the freshman by a 10-7 margin.
East Wilkes picked up wins in all three of the doubles matches. Callaway and White were 8-2 winners over Brown and Witherspoon. Lester and Pardue defeated Miller and Tugman, 8-5, and the duo of Stokes and Maggie Weatherman beat Curcio and senior Erin Griffin, 8-6.
“Overall I am very pleased with our play but we will continue to work on ground strokes, net play, and court strategy,” Dix said. “This is a young team but if the weather allows us to have more court time the season looks very promising.”
Ashe was slated to play at Watauga on Thursday. The next match for the women’s tennis team will be a home rematch with Watauga on Monday.