Ball in McDonogh's court for national tournament Eagles are the host for three-day tennis event

June 09, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

A tournament involving prep schools from Massachusetts to Texas, born as a result of the cancellation of a national high school tennis championship event, plays the sea of hard courts at McDonogh School for three days beginning tomorrow with the host squad one of the favorites.

Led by captain Nick Colvin, who was unbeaten in his four years competing in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Eagles were 12-0 while winning the MIAA A Conference title for the fifth straight year.

"Deerfield [Academy, Mass.] is one of the teams that worries me," said McDonogh coach Laddie Levy. "It has lost just one match in the last three years while winning three New England titles."

Then there's Greenhill School out of Dallas, which, as Levy said, "must have a good team if it's going to come all the way up here from Texas to compete."

Choate Rosemary Hall of Connecticut, Lawrenceville School of New Jersey and Western Reserve Academy of Ohio complete the six-team field in the round-robin format.

The canceled nationals was a USTA tournament conducted in New York, at Duke University and then in Mississippi and was primarily a boys' 18 singles event.

"There were usually only four or five schools entered in the team competition," says Levy, "so the USTA was quick to suggest we run our own event when we brought up the subject last year.

"We're looking at this as a celebration of the team aspect of tennis," said Levy. "I like it when one of our players after finishing a victorious match doesn't feel as if we've won until all the match results are in."

Besides Colvin, four-time MIAA champ with a 55-0 conference match record (74-8 overall), freshman Chris Chiu and junior Jon Rodriquez also won MIAA individual titles at No. 2 and No. 3, bTC respectively. Other McDonogh standouts include Richie Granat, David Katz, Paul Roe, Greg Krieger, August Ongkasuwan, Eric Gordon and Geoff Swerdlin.

The Eagles, beaten only by Moorestown (N.J.) Prep, have won 146 of 156 matches over the last decade.

Only once in the past 16 years have they failed to win the A Conference crown, but just as impressive is the fact McDonogh consistently takes on the toughest prep competition it can find.

The investment banking and brokerage firm Alex. Brown and Sons is sponsoring the team championship, McDonogh grad Pam Shriver ('79) is the honorary chairperson and Curtis Way and Clark Mayer of the tournament supervising Baltimore Tennis Patrons will serve as tournament director and referee, respectively.

Matches will begin at 8 a.m. each day.

Tennis tourney

Site: McDonogh School

When: Tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. each day

Teams: McDonogh, Deerfield Academy (Mass.), Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.), Lawrenceville School (N.J.), Western Reserve Academy (Ohio), Greenhill School (Texas)

Format: Round-robin, team competition

Pub Date: 6/09/96

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