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Galax and Grayson County split a pair of evenly-contested tennis matches Thursday, with Grayson’s boys knocking off Galax 6-3 and the Maroon Tide girls edging the Blue Devils 5-4.
The visiting team was the winner in both matches and each has a key hurdle out of the way en route to their respective Mountain Empire District season championships.
At Felts Park, Grayson County claimed four of the six singles matches, including a trio of three-set battles. Garrett Bailey took a 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 win over Dylan Taylor at No. 1 singles, Grayson Holdaway edged Kenley Adams 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 and Jake Parnell claimed a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 decision over Ty Cornett at No. 4.
Michael Vaughan won in straight sets at No. 2, while Galax picked up wins in the No. 5 and No. 6 matches. The Maroon Tide’s Jacob Patton and Caleb Bartlett both won in straight sets.
The doubles teams of Bailey/Vaughan and Holdaway/Parnell each won a 7-5 match en route to taking straight sets doubles wins to clinch the team victory.
Galax dropped its first loss of the year after opening the season with eight straight wins.
At Grayson County High School, the Maroon Tide girls remained undefeated with their win over the Blue Devils. Two of the matches went three sets and two others needed tiebreakers as Galax improved to 7-0 on the year.
Galax’s Joyce Kuang bounced back from a first-set loss to edge Anna Turnmire 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 1 singles, while Claire Engelhardt nipped Alisha Bost 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 at No. 2.
The Maroon Tide’s No. 3 Paige Hanks and No. 4 Susan Davis both took straight-sets wins, while Sarah Finklea and Laken Newman, Grayson’s fifth and sixth seeds, picked up two-set wins as Galax took a 4-2 lead into doubles.
Turnmire and Bost got past Kuang and Engelhardt 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) at No. 1 doubles, and the Devils got their fourth team point when Finklea and Amber Rutherford notched a three-set win at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.
The Maroon Tide picked up the decisive fifth team point at No. 2 doubles with a 6-2, 6-2 win by Hanks and Davis.
Grayson County 16, Galax 1 (5 inn.): The Blue Devils put 10 runs on the board in the third inning to break open a tight game, and coasted to the MED win Friday at Mountain View Park.
Madison Shupe got the third-inning uprising off to a good start with a leadoff triple and added an RBI single later in the inning. Taylor Hale and Autumn Halsey each had a run-scoring double while Destiny Shupe and Grace Circle added RBI singles.
Circle went 3-for-4 while Destiny Shupe, Hale, Madison Shupe, Halsey and Natasha Moore collected two hits apiece.
Sarah Eller limited the Maroon Tide to a pair of hits, striking out eight and walking one. Brooklyn Key scored Galax’s lone run in the third, reaching on a walk and later scoring on Channing Russell’s sacrifice fly.
Richlands 2, Carroll County 1: Jordyn Cole smacked a two-run homer to erase a 1-0 Cavalier lead, lifting the Blue Tornado to a Southwest District win Friday in Hillsville.
Lexi Hodge doubled to drive in Grace Lindsey with the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth, but Cole put Richlands in front with her homer in the top of the sixth.
Cole was also the winning pitcher, giving up three hits and striking out six.
Galax 8, Grayson County 0: Six players combined for the eight goals as the Maroon Tide blanked the Blue Devils in an MED match Thursday in Galax.
Andrew Medina and Jose Rojas scored two goals apiece for Galax (5-1-1, 3-0). Mario Carranza, Donte Peoples, Edgar Guzman and Felix Medina added one goal apiece.
The Maroon Tide defenders recorded their third straight shutout as keeper Jacob Fisher stopped eight Blue Devil shots.