The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 31, 2013

Gray Stone tennis loses in third round to Bishop McGuinness

By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor

Thursday, October 31, 2013 — The 2013 women’s tennis season for the Gray Stone Knights has orbited around a central theme of avenging the team’s loss last season to Mount Airy in the 1A Western Regional Finals.

Standing in the way of a return match with the Granite Bears was the team ranked just below the Knights all season long in the state coaches’ poll, the Bishop McGuinness Villains.

The visiting Villains denied Gray Stone a shot at Mount Airy with a 5-1 win on Monday at the Knapp Tennis Center in Misenheimer on the Pfeiffer University Campus.

Libby Fowler, coming off of a win along with Brooke Herlocker in the state doubles’ tournament last weekend, won the No. 2-seeded singles’ match, the only win of the match for Gray Stone (18-4).

The Knight’s top seed, Meghan Hedgepeth, lost in straight sets while Herlocker at No. 3 lost in two sets with the last set going to a tiebreaker.

Caby Styers led in both of her sets at No. 4 but eventually was defeated, and Rachel Poston lost a first-set tiebreaker and lost the second set as well in the fifth-seed match.

Ilya Wang forced her match to a third tiebreaking set but suffered a loss as well.

“It was definitely a disappointing loss. Bishop played very well and they deserve the credit for winning the match. Although we did not play poorly, I don’t think we played our best, which we needed to do to win,” Gray Stone head coach Jeff Walter said.

In two seasons, the Knights have won back-to-back conference titles with a combined record of 36-5.