North Stokes tennis program, which is ranked 10th in the state’s 1A current polls, celebrated senior night with a 9-0 victory over county rival South Stokes on Thursday in Danbury. After the match, Viking coach Mandee Bennett recognized seniors Alyssa Collins, Brianna Lester, Lauren Collins and Addie Bryant.
“Our four seniors have grown by leaps and bounds this year,” Bennett said. “We started out slow, but they have hit their stride right now. My seniors have really pulled their weight and the others have followed suit and worked hard. I’m just so proud of the girls.”
Alyssa Collins, who has been the Vikings number one seed for two seasons now, quickly beat Ariel Haynes 6-1, 6-1. Haynes is normally the Sauras number two, but Harmony Templeton was nursing an injury.
Lester took care of Jillian Padgett 6-1, 6-1 and Tessa Sprinkle beat Maggie Collins 6-1, 6-0. In the number four single match, Lauren Collins won 6-0, 6-0 as did Grace Bylerly and Addie Bryant in the five and six games.
In the doubles competition, the home team swept the contests 8-1, 8-1, 8-0. Alyssa Collins and Lester were the number one team, followed by Lauren Collins/Sprinkle and Bylerly/Bryant.
“We have improved quite a bit this year,” said Sauras second year coach Andy Smith. “We have been working on technique and the girls are getting better. We are in a very tough conference with three of the teams ranked top 10 in 1A. So it’s very competitive, but we’ve gotten better.”
The Sauras recognized Templeton and her accomplishments against conference foe East Surry, currently ranked fourth in the state, last week.
“We’ll work this summer and the goal is to raise one or two spots next year. Harmony Temple, our only senior, has done a great job for us and is a smart young lady. She played number five for us last year and was thrown into number one this year and has been a great leader,” Smith said.
Both the Vikings (9-6, 5-5) and Sauras (1-17, 1-10) will compete in the conference single and double tournaments at Mount Airy on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sprinkle, seeded number two overall in the singles competition, will play the winner between teammate Lauren Collins (#5) and Winston-Salem Prep’s Joycelyn Rouse (#12). Templeton (#8) will go up against Abbie Koons (#8) from East Surry and Heavner (#11) will play Rosie Craven (#6) from East Surry as well.
Alyssa Collins and Lester were seeded number three in the doubles tournament and will face the winner between East Surry and Winston-Salem Prep. Bylerly and Bryant (#5) will face Roundtree and Green from Winston-Salem Prep and the Sauras combo of Haynes/Padgett (#8) play Martin/Bray from Mount Airy. Maggie Collins and Kayla Rickman (#10) will round out the first round double matches against Malone/Perkins of Mount Airy.
Alyssa and Brianna have worked really hard and have been strong in doubles this year,” Bennett said. “We are excited about the conference tournament and will continue to work hard and our ultimate goal is to make states as a team.”
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.