TEACHEY — The Lady Knights bounced back from a 9-0 non-conference schooling at the hands of Class 4-A Lumberton earlier in the week to earn a 6-3 win over Wallace-Rose Hill in Four County Conference action on Thursday.
The two teams split the six singles matches, with West Bladen taking the top three spots and the Lady Bulldogs scratching out tough wins in the bottom three matches.
Lady Knights’ No. 1 player Alanna Ludlum whitewashed her opponent 8-0 and No. 2 Amber Long did the same with her foe. Helen Lopez followed up at No. 3 with an 8-3 win, but No. 4 Madison Singletary fell by an 8-4 margin — followed by a tough loss by Haley Dimery, 8-6, at No. 5 and an 8-3 loss by Rachel Bryan at No. 6.
But with the match knotted at 3-3, West Bladen swept the doubles play to seal the win.
The Lady Knights’ No. 1 duo of Ludlum and Long easily took their match by an 8-0 verdict, followed by two hard-fought wins by No. 2 Lopez and Singletary, 8-6, and No. 3 Dimery and Conner Brisson, 8-6.
“Our third doubles team of Haley Dimery and Conner Brisson made a great comeback, as they were trailing 4-1, and fought back to win the set,” West Bladen coach Jeff Atkinson said. “Helen Lopez and Madison Singletary took the lead 6-3 in the second doubles, but the Bulldogs made a run closing the score to 7-6 before Lopez and Singletary closed the door with the 8-6 victory.”
West Bladen improves to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
Lady Eagles soar
After opening their season on the wrong end of two straight shutouts — on the road to West Bladen and Clinton — East Bladen came home on Thursday and put a Four County Conference schooling on visiting Pender County, 9-0.
The Lady Eagles got a whitewash win at No. 6 singles from Trinity Carroll, 6-0 and 6-0, as well as near-whitewash wins from No. 1 Kathryn Cole, 6-1 (retired) and No. 3 Cassie Hill, 6-1 and 6-0.
Justyna Gargala earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 2; Maddie West took a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 4; and Ting Lin battled hard fat No. 5 for a 4-6, 6-2 and 10-7 win.
In the doubles action, the Lady Eagles’ Cole and Hill teamed up for an 8-3 win at No. 1 before Pender County retired its No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to give East Bladen the shutout win.
The Lady Eagles are now 1-2 overall and in conference.
— In Elizabethtown on Thursday, the Lady Eagles stumbled in the second game but rebounded to earn their first Four County Conference win of the season by the scores of 25-8, 17-25, 25-10 and 25-17 over visiting Pender County.
Lacey Suggs had a huge match with 23 service points that included seven aces and added five kills.
Miller Heustess was credited with 17 assist for East Bladen along with 13 service winners and four aces, while Lexie Mendell added 12 kills and Claire Campbell had six kills.
East Bladen is now 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
— In Elizabethtown on Thursday, the Eagles shut out the visiting Vikings of West Columbus, 9-0, in a non-conference match.
East Bladen tallied four goals in the first and followed it up with five more in the second half to seal the win.
The Eagles are now 3-3 overall.