Mitchel nets county boys singles crown

May 15, 1994|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Special to The Sun

On the strength of a much-improved serve-and-volley game, Mount Hebron junior and top seed David Mitchel fended off defending Howard County Cup Tournament boys singles champion Sam Booker of Howard High, 6-2, 7-5, to capture this year's title at the Wilde Lake Tennis Center yesterday.

"We have a friendly rivalry," said Mitchel, who lost to Booker, 7-5, 6-0, in last year's tournament final. "I got a little nervous at the end, wanting to finish off Sam as quick as possible and I made some mental mistakes."

Mitchel, who most likely will meet up with his junior rival in the Class 3A regionals, gained the first-set victory by breaking Booker's serve in the critical fifth game.

"I figured I had lost that first set and that was behind me, so I tried to beat him [David] to the net in the second set," Booker said. "I also wanted to stay back and be patient on the baseline."

Up 5-3 and serving in the second set, Mitchel's pressing for victory resulted in three double-faults. Booker extended Mitchel only to have Mitchel break his serve to win the match.

"Besides working on my serve and volley, I improved my forehand volley considerably," Mitchel said.

Centennial officially wrapped up a tournament cup title with a record 65 points as sisters Becky and Stephanie Knouse defeated Eagles teammates and second-seed Susan Green and Michelle Brown, 6-1, 6-2. Mount Hebron finished second with 43 points and Howard third with 41.

The Knouse girls doubles' title gave senior Becky Knouse a perfect record in county regular-season (52-0) and cup tournament play (three doubles titles, one singles title). The Knouse sisters improved to 4-0 playing doubles together and are ranked third in 18-under girls doubles in the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association.

"Steph and I know each other so well that sometimes we don't have to say anything to each other on the court," Becky Knouse said.

"Because we knew exactly what each other is thinking," Stephanie Knouse finished. "The match was a little more relaxed than the normal final because we are such good friends with Susan and Michelle, but we had to be careful not to underestimate them or be too confident."

Glenelg senior and second-seed Tracy Brown (7-2) finished off yesterday's championship matches with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 girls singles title victory over Hammond junior and top-seed Keely Alexander (5-2).

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