Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SALISBURY — Any leaks in the success of the Salisbury tennis dynasty are quickly patched up.
For instance on Monday, No. 4 singles player and doubles state champion Madeline Hoskins was in Southern Pines for the state 1A/2A golf tounrmanet, Kathleen Mowery, the Hornets’ No.7, filled the void with a singles victory just like every other SHS player in a 6-0 win against Hendersonville in the third round of the state 2A playoffs. Mowery was the latest testament to the Hornets’ depth.
“As a senior I was really excited to step in and do my part to help out the team,” Mowery said. “I’ve been preparing for this for a couple weeks when I heard Madeline would have to miss a match.”
Salisbury (16-3) finished off the Bearcats in a little over an hour, dropping just four games. The Hornets will travel to Lake Norman Charter Wednesday in the West final. The dual-team state championship is Saturday at Burlington Tennis Center at 9:30 a.m.
“I’m excited for Wednesday’s match,” Kathryn Rusher said. “I played their no. 1 last weekend in states and she’s a very good player.”
After the match, the team dedicated a hitting board to fervent supporter Reid Leonard.
“I knew from the get-go that if we dedicated something, it would be for Mr. Leonard,” Kathryn Rusher said. “That’s kind of a no-brainer.”
It’s been a no-brainer in the 2A tennis scene for some time now, with Salisbury having not lost a Central Carolina Conference match since 2002.
“Hopefully in the end we can say we played the defending state champions,” Hendersonville coach Krista Hayes said. “They’re so strong across the board.”
Hoskins and Alexandra Drye won the state doubles championship over the weekend against the defending champions. Drye won her singles match 6-0, 6-1 against Victoria Thomas.
“I was a little concerned that maybe we’d come out flat after playing this weekend,” Salisbury coach Scott Maddox said. “We were right on point like we have been all year. Kathleen stepped in and we didn’t miss a beat.”
Kayla Honeycutt beat Hannah Coker 6-0, 6-1 and Anna Flynn topped Erin Lindsey 6-0, 6-0. Rusher had the longest match but beat Haley Fair 6-1, 6-0.
“The girl I played was consistent so that made it difficult,” Rusher said. “But I feel like I played well.”
At No. 5, Grace Steinman won 6-0, 6-0.
Hendersonville opted not to play doubles with a long drive back home ahead of them.
Notes: Lake Norman Charter N.C. School of Science and Math and Carrboro are the remaining teams in the east.