Eastern Alamance’s women’s tennis team improved to 7-0 on the season last Tuesday with a decisive 8-1 victory over Williams in a road match. And then on Monday, the Eagles crushed Southern Alamance, picking up a shutout win over the Patriots to improve to 9-0.
The Eagles gained a measure of revenge against the Bulldogs, who defeated EAHS last season in its 2018 season opener.
“It’s nice to beat our neighbors if we can,” Eastern head coach Tom Booth said in a recent interview. “Williams got us last year the first day of school. We came out dead as a doorknob. They’re always great competition. They have great feeder systems. If you can beat Williams, that’s always a great accomplishment, year in and year out.”
As it turned out, the match with Williams was never in doubt, as the Eagles cruised once again behind their star-studded veteran lineup. No. 1 singles player Christin Dunn crushed Williams No. 1 Ashley Sturges 8-0, setting the tone for the entire match for Eastern.
Dunn has put together an outstanding 8-0 record thus far, and picked up her fifth shutout of the season with the victory over Williams. Through her first eight individual matches this fall, Dunn put together an overall mark of 84-6 against her various opponents. Dunn is looking not only to lead the Eagles to the team dual playoffs, but also to advance to the NCHSAA 3A individual state championships.
Eastern No. 2 singles player Emily Walsh had her way with Williams’ No. 2 Olivia Higgins, claiming an 8-1 win to improve her record on the season to 7-0. Walsh won her first seven matches by a dominating overall score of 77-12. No. 3 Eagles singles player Rocio Rosa also improved her overall individual record to 7-0 by beating Natalie Boylston of Williams, 8-1. Rosa, who represents the future of Eastern High tennis following the impending departures of many of its top players after this season, defeated her first seven individual opponents this season by a combined score of 71-10.
Like Walsh and Rosa, Eastern No. 4 singles player Olivia Harris also won her Williams match by a score of 8-1, as she defeated Bulldogs No. 4 Daniela Munoz. Harris’s overall record through her first seven matches, all victories, was 76-8.
Junior Hannah Hawks continued her winning ways as well for the Eagles in the No. 5 singles match, as she took down Elia Porfilio of Williams. Hawks was 5-0 through her first five matches of the season, combining for a record of 54-13. Hawks is the only player among EAHS’s top five singles players to lose a set thus far.
Eastern’s only setback in an individual matchup with Williams came in the No. 6 singles battle, as freshman Sarah Delario fell in a heartbreaking 8-6 tiebreaker after playing Williams’ Mary Kelly to an 8-8 tie in their one set of action. Delario has a 4-3 record for EAHS in singles play through seven matches, as she won twice as Eastern’s No. 5 singles player, and went 2-3 as the team’s No. 6 singles player.
Following their dominant effort against Williams in the individual matches, the teams did not play the three doubles games, which gave EAHS three more points on their way to the 8-1 final score.
EAHS’s No. 1 doubles tandem of Dunn and Walsh has been nothing short of excellent, as they won their first three matches against Orange, Person, and Rockingham by a combined score of 24-1. Three different opponents - conference foes Northeast Guilford and Northern Guilford, along with non-conference local rival Williams - didn’t even bother to field a doubles team to take on Dunn and Walsh after the tandem overwhelmed them in singles play, electing instead to retire and take a forfeit loss.
Rosa has also been outstanding in doubles play for the Eagles, winning an 8-0 match along with Olivia Harris over Graham in No. 1 doubles action, and then beating Orange, Rockingham, and Person by a combined 24-4 alongside teammates Harris and Hawks. Hawks assisted Rosa in beating Rockingham 8-3 in No. 2 doubles, while Harris was partnering with Rosa in an 8-1 win over Orange, and an 8-0 triumph over Person.
Eastern played another local road match on Monday, as they traveled down to Swepsonville to face another inter-county rival, Southern Alamance. The Patriots, who got off to a 7-4 overall start and a 6-2 mark in conference play, figured to give the Eagles one of their toughest tests of the season so far, but it didn’t turn out that way.
The Eagles put together another dominant performance, shutting out the Patriots by a 9-0 score. Dunn, Rosa, and Harris all won their respective singles matches by 8-0 scores, while Walsh, Hawks, and Delario won by 8-2 scores to complete an Eastern 6-0 sweep in singles play. EAHS then won a trio of doubles matches by scores of 8-3, 8-1, and 8-1 to complete the shutout win, which improves the team’s overall mark to 8-0.
The Eagles travel to Western Alamance on Wednesday to face the Warriors in a match that could clinch at least a share of the Mid-State Conference title for EAHS. Eastern can clinch the Mid-State regular season title outright in their regular season finale, as they’ll host McMichael October 2 back in Mebane.