Eastern Alamance’s women’s tennis team won perhaps its biggest regular season victory in school history on Wednesday, as the Eagles traveled to Greensboro and defeated defending Mid-State Conference champion Northern Guilford in a thrilling dual team victory.
In the No. 1 singles match, senior Christin Dunn came through with an outstanding performance in a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Northern’s Rhiana Brownell. Dunn, who looks to play herself into a spot in the NCHSAA 3A individual state championships later this year while also leading the Eagles into the team state playoffs, has only lost one game over her last four matches, producing a dominant 44-1 record over that stretch.
Although it was a little tougher for No. 2 Emily Walsh in her matchup with Northern’s Samantha Townes, Walsh won the hard-fought first set, 7-5, and then wore Townes down for a 6-2 win in the second set.
In the No. 3 singles match, Eastern ninth grader Rocio Rosa was on her way to a potential straight set win over Carmen Wallace. Rosa won the opening set, 6-4, and earned the victory by walk off as she was taking a 1-0 lead in the second set. Olivia Harris kept the wins coming Eastern’s way with a solid outing in the No. 4 singles match, defeating Northern’s Thalia Wall, 6-2, 6-0.
But perhaps the biggest win for the Eagles - the one that really put them over the hump and on the trajectory of victory over the Nighthawks - was the performance of junior Hannah Hawks in her match with Amelia Harris in No. 5 singles. Although Hawks lost the opening set 4-6, she collected herself and outplayed Harris in the second set, forcing a tiebreaker with a 6-2 win.
In the decisive tiebreaker, Hawks battled her way to a 10-7 win, which effectively assured that the Eagles were going to come away from Greensboro victorious as a team.
Eastern’s only setback in individual play was in the No. 6 singles match, as Northern Guilford’s Anna Pope knocked off EAHS freshman Sarah Delario, 6-1, 6-1.
With the individual victories over Northern Guilford, the records of Dunn, Walsh, Rosa, and Harris all improved to 5-0. Hawks is 3-0 in the No. 5 singles spot, while Sarah Delario has a 3-2 overall mark playing both No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Sophomore Lilly Kelly is also 2-0 in No. 6 singles play.
With the win over Northern Guilford in hand, the Eagles now control their own destiny in the Mid-State Conference. Eastern is in excellent position to run the table and win the Mid-State Conference regular season championship, which would improve their positioning for the state playoffs come October. Last year the Eagles reached the state playoffs, but were beaten by eventual East Regional champion East Chapel Hill in the opening round.
The Eagles return to team action next Wednesday, as they’ll host Rockingham County on the recently-refurbished courts at Eastern High. Following that, the Eagles will engage in a series of three straight road matches at Williams, Southern Alamance, and Western Alamance between September 17 and September 25 before returning home to Mebane to face McMichael October 2 in the regular season finale.