Fallston's Amy Cox had to beat two opponents in the final to win theHarford County girls singles title Tuesday night.
The Cougars senior had less trouble beating North Harford's Valerie Phipps 6-0, 6-3,than she had beating the sweltering temperature at the Harford Community College tennis courts. In the 90-degree heat and 90-percent humidity, top-seeded Cox had to play three matches to win her title.
"It was rough," said Cox, last year's runner-up. "After the second match I was really feeling it.
"Because thunderstorms interrupted Monday's early-round play, most of the athletes had to play three matches on Tuesday instead of two each day. The girls championship didn't even begin until after 7 p.m.
Suffering from blisters on both feet, Cox wrapped up her semifinal match against Bel Air freshman Colleen Akehurst quickly. Then she watched as Phipps needed three sets and two and a half hours to dispense with Havre de Grace's Jessica Henemyre in the other semifinal.
Phipps walked off the court, floppeddown on her mom's lawn chair for 20 minutes and then had to get up to play the final.
But Cox didn't keep her out there long. The Fallston senior used her steady baseline game to run an already exhaustedPhipps around and wear her down.
"She ran me all over the place,"said Phipps, who was seeded third. It was rough with the heat and all, but I don't want to make excuses. She always does that.
"Amy isso consistent and she has the best placement. It's so annoying, because she can put the ball anywhere on the court at any time. Some people can hit angle shots some times, but she does it consistently for winners."
Cox, who will play tennis at St. Mary's College next year, only struggled once in the tournament. In a second-round match with Aberdeen sophomore Siobhan Kelly, she trailed 3-1 before bouncing back to win 8-4. (In the early rounds, matches were decided by a pro set - first to win eight games. In the semifinal they switched over tothe best of three conventional sets.)
"She really pinned me to the baseline," said Kelly, the only serve-and volley player in the girls singles. "Her serve was great and she had a good top-spin lob. Every point I won was on a net shot or her error. She really deserves to win."
Cox, who was undefeated this season, led the Cougars to the team title edging out regular-season champ Bel Air, 15-13. C. Milton wright was third with 10 points.
Fallston also won the mixed doubles championship. Kaleen Hannon and Paul Sack defeated Serena Thommsonand Jeff Buler, of C. Milton Wright, 705, 6-3 in the title match.
In the boys singles competition, William Knapton, of C. Milton Wright, handily disposed of all challenters. The Mustangs senior polished off an undefeated season by beating Fallston's Mark Torba 6-2,6-1 in the final.
Top-seeded Knapton, half of last year's runner-up boys doubles team, lost only five games in four matches at the championships. He won his semifinal, 6-0,6-0.
In an all-Bel Air boys doubles championship, Scott Burger and Jeff Roux beat No. 1 seed Vince Grandjean and Mike Murphy, 6-4,6-3.
Bel Air's Susie Samuels and Heng Ou won the girls doubles title over C. Milton Wright's Jennifer Jones and Katie Hatton, 6-4,6-2.
In addition to the top two finishers, thethird-place individuals and teams also advanced to the district playoffs.
Third-place winners were Akehurst; Jason Flick, Havre de Grace boys singles: Sharon Doyle and Theresa Doyle, Aberdeen, girls doubles; Jason Diddle and Jeff Tiedeman, Fallston, boys doubles; and Beatrice Bouy and Chris Williams, Joppatowne.