It took about four hours and a couple of dramatic comebacks, but the Roxboro Community School tennis team opened up North Central Athletic Conference play with a monster 5-4 victory over rival Voyager Academy Monday at Huck Sansbury Recreation Complex.
The victory propels the Bulldogs to a 3-0 start to the season, this one finishing up under the lights.
The teams headed into doubles play tied at 3-3 after evenly splitting singles, and the Vikings took a big step towards clinching the team victory when Dallas Knight and Shea Dixon narrowly defeated RCS’s top-seeded team of Sarah Vetti and Emily Rogers, 9-7.
The Bulldogs responded.
RCS tied the team competition at 4-4 when the third-seeded team of Leah Solomon and Grace Denny downed Kaylah Crooks and Madison Carter, 8-6, setting up a winner-take-all match at number-two doubles.
Sophomore Olivia Townsend and freshman Reagan Anderson delivered their team the victory when they defeated Samantha Thornton and Maeve McKenna, 8-5.
Voyager got off to a good start when Knight defeated Vetti, 6-0, 6-1 in the top-seeded singles match, but the Bulldogs answered with wins in the second and third flights.
Townsend coasted to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Caroline Fogleman in the second-seeded match and Anderson rolled to a 6-2, 6-0 triumph in number-three singles.
The Vikings responded with a couple of hard-fought wins in the middle of the lineup.
Dixon edged Rogers, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) in the fourth-seeded match, while fifth-seed Thornton slipped past Jessica Holeman 7-5, 6-3.
Sixth-seed Allyshea Oliver sent the Bulldogs into doubles play tied up at 3-3 with a come-from-behind win over Francesca Cedano.
Cedano won the first set 6-4, but Oliver roared back to take the second set, 6-3 and clinched the win with a 10-8 win in the deciding tiebreaker.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Thursday when they step out of conference and challenge Research Triangle. Match time is set for 3:45 p.m.