WEST JEFFERSON — There will not be a shared championship in women’s tennis this season.
The Ashe County Lady Huskies finished up a fantastic regular season with wins over West Wilkes and Starmount this week, capping off a 13-1 run in conference play and the outright Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Championship. East Wilkes finished 12-2 and will have to settle for second place this season. Elkin finished third with an 11-3 mark in the MVAC.
Ashe 9, West Wilkes 0
On Tuesday, Ashe County hit the road to West Wilkes and cruised to a 9-0 victory.
“The players played patiently, smart and hit good, consistent ground strokes,” said Ashe County head coach Larry Dix. “They played good doubles, communicating and executing very well. I am so proud of their play, attitude and sportsmanship.”
Top seed Caroline Current took down Amanda Eddins in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Second seeded Morgan Church was a 6-2, 6-0 winner against Erin Shelton and Mackenzie Wood earned a 6-3, 6-2 win over Amber Souther.
In the fourth seeded match, Ashe’s Anna Corley had a 5-0 lead in the first set when Elizabeth Minton had to pull out of the match with an injury, resulting in a forfeit victory for Corley. Karoline Keith picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win against Olivia Benton in the fifth seeded match and sixth seeded Ashley Dollar finished off the singles sweep for Ashe with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Makenzie Shell.
In doubles play, Current and Church defeated Eddins and Souther, 8-2. Wood and Corley were 8-0 winners over Shelton and Benton. Keith and Brooke Rutherford earned an 8-4 win over Shell and Cassidy Miller.
Ashe 8, Starmount 1
In the final regular season match on Thursday, Ashe honored its six senior players (Celeste Ramseur, Caroline Current, Morgan Church, Anna Corley, Mackenzie Wood and Brooke Rutherford) prior to the match.
With the outright conference championship on the line, the Lady Huskies hardly missed a beat, capturing the title and pushing their win streak to 13 wins with the 2A state playoffs coming up next.
“This was a huge win for us because it sealed our spot as the 1A/2A conference champions. The ladies have worked hard to get to being number one in the conference and I commend their effort, dedication and spirit,” said Coach Dix.
The first five singles matches all went to Ashe County. Current was a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Cherith McCullagh. Church took down Sarryn Meyer, 6-1, 6-1, Wood defeated Elizabeth Pozo, 6-3, 6-4, Corley beat Hailey Gomez, 6-0, 6-0 and Keith got by Gracee Shore, 6-2, 7-5.
Starmount’s only victory came in the sixth seeded singles match. Junior Lela Stringer was able beat Ashe County freshman Ashley Dollar, needing a third set tiebreaker to win the match, 7-5, 2-6, 10-8.
Ashe’s three doubles teams easily picked up victories. Current and Church and Wood and Corley both picked up 8-0 wins while Keith and Rutherford were 8-3 winners.
On Tuesday, the Lady Huskies will head to Elkin for the MVAC Qualifier Tournament to see who all can earn spots in the individual state championship tournament. The team will have a home playoff match in the first round of the dual team state playoffs.
Team playoffs will begin on Oct. 16 and individual regional tournament play take place Oct. 20-21.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.