Tennis talent abounds in Carroll this year, with several teams likely to battle for county and conference titles.
Liberty, Westminsterand North Carroll will fight for the boys title the Panthers won last year. Westminster appears to be the favorite among the girls.
Francis Scott Key Eagles
The Eagles girls team is rebuilding, but the boys could be a sleeper in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League race.
Key coach John Baugher has two top doubles teams back -- seniors Brian Hayes and Brad Murphy, along with their classmates, Dwight Baugher and Aaron Kahn.
Junior Shane Shaffer, sophomore Chris Bond, senior Mike Pfaltzgraff and junior Mike Coale will fight for singles spots. Baugher said the team will be stronger this year than last, with the solid doubles pairs helping the squad improve on its 2-11record of a year ago.
Coach Donna Baker's girls team is dominatedby freshmen and sophomores, and is probably a year or two away. Senior Tina Pellkofer and junior Jenny Baker should help out at singles.
Sophomores Robin Lease and Paula Koontz may be the top doubles team this spring, after playing at No. 3 last year.
The Lions are among the favorites to win the boys county title, whilethe balanced girls team should find some success.
Coach Bruce Damasio has seven of eight boys back from last year's second-place county team.
Seniors Rob Hobson and Bryan Ninowsky were the top singlesplayers. Juniors Chris North and Mike Szymanski, along with senior Keith Bethel and junior Geoff Downes, made up the No. 2 and 3 doubles teams.
"We're going to play one match at a time," Damasio said.
The girls team lost its top two singles players, but the doubles teams have returned.
Last year's No. 2 and 3 teams -- senior Laura Henessy and junior Dani Anzalone, and senior Jennifer Krupowicz with junior Carly Carter -- should give the Lions some punch.
North Carroll Panthers
The Panthers boys will try to defend their county title, as the girls look to improve again.
For Coach John Lynam's boys, last year's 10-5 season and capturing the county title was a reversal from two years ago, when the team lost several 3-2 matches. Last year, they won most of those matches.
Lynam lost his top singles players, but has some doubles people back. Seniors Eric Nowicki and Rich Cutair, the top doubles team from 1991, return.
Coach Elizabeth Foyle's girls hope to better last year's 6-8 record.
Senior Sheri Chatfield and junior Micky Baker may fill the No. 1 doubles spot. Seniors Lisa Kreseski, Brandy Hermann and Christi Lough should offer help.
South Carroll Cavaliers
Coach Jim Carnes' girls team, the defending county champions, were hit hard by graduation; his boys squadhas several good players back.
Senior Sam Thepvongs was a top doubles player in the county and will be the No. 1 singles player for the Cavaliers. Thepvongs and Kristin Medvetz lost in the state mixed doubles final last year.
Paul Weinhardt, a county champion in doubles last year as a junior, returns, as do seniors Eric Peterson and Brad Baker.
On the girls side, Medvetz is gone, as is the top doublesteam. But senior Gretchen Fogle and junior Nikki Robitaille, who lost just one match last year, are back.
Seniors Carey Marschke and Angie Frizzell also return.
The Owls girls teamis definitely a favorite to snatch the county title from South Carroll, while the boys should give Liberty a run for the championship.
Westminster's girls team, 12-3 last year and second in the county, returns seven of its top eight, including last year's top two singles players from the county tournament -- junior Amanda Koenig and Becky Duex.
Doubles pairs return, including senior Cara Ober and junior Laura Shoffner, No. 1 last year; junior Andrea Stanton and senior Staci Schmidt, who played No. 2; and senior Kelli Galliger, who made up half of the No. 3 team.
Coach Fran McCullin is looking forward to his boys team's performance this season. Senior Marco Fuggitti, who played No. 2 singles last year, is expected to fill the No. 1 slot.
Senior Matt Sedlak, junior Matt Fisher and sophomores Steve Hockstraand Eric Minor should carry a big part of the load.
Western Maryland College
Both the men and women are rebuilding, and hope to improve on three-win seasons in 1991.
Coach Alex Ober said senior Doug Raihall could be the No. 1 singles player this year for the men. Hewas No. 2 last year, as the Green Terrors went 3-9.
Kathy Little is serving as the interim coach for the women, as Joan Weyers takes aone-year research sabbatical.
Sophomores Stephanie Flood and Laurie Himmel, as well as freshman Kelly Houghton, are fighting for the top spots in singles. They also may play some doubles.