1996 All-Carroll County tennis teams

June 09, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Liberty coach Bruce Damasio said he often stresses to his team the importance of playing well at season's end, because "it's what you do in May that counts more than what you do in March."

Several Carroll County players who did well in May make up this year's All-County team. Carrie Tamburo and Sara Wachter of South Carroll followed the Damasio edict to the letter, coming in second in the county, first in the region and fourth in the state to share Player of the Year honors for girls.

On the boys side, Steve Flora of Westminster used his consistent play to capture a county title and win the Player of the Year award. Damasio, meanwhile, came up with county championships on both the boys and girls sides and gained Coach of the Year honors.

Tamburo and Wachter played doubles together for four years at South Carroll. Their 20-5 record and solid all-around play helped them advance to the state's final four this year.

They complement each other on the court. Wachter has a strong backhand while Tamburo's forehand is good and both can volley at the net -- a combination that proved too much for many.

"They kept improving this season," said South Carroll coach Jim Carnes. "They played better against better competition."

Flora dominated in a similar manner in boys singles competition. TC The junior sailed through county play with an undefeated record and played strongly throughout.

He finished with a 15-6 record, falling in the region semifinals to the eventual champion. Flora knocked off teammate Jan Kunze in the county finals in straight sets.

Flora continues to improve and should be a strong anchor for the Owls again next spring.

Damasio has been an anchor for the Liberty tennis program during its entire history. The social studies department chairman has coached Liberty tennis for all of its 16-year history.

He wasn't sure what to expect this season. Damasio said he thought the team was in the midst of a rebuilding cycle -- especially since the Lions won only four matches last year.

This year, however, was a different story. Liberty improved to 7-7 overall and shared the county title for girls with South Carroll (both were 4-1).

"I think our attitude was better as a team," said Damasio, who coaches boys and girls. "We came out this year believing we could play. We did a lot of growing."

The other five boys players continued to grow -- and succeed. Kunze of Westminster and Liberty's doubles team of Brian Levin and Craig Wentz plus the North Carroll doubles tandem of Derek Easter and Brian Mayle also made All-County.

Kunze, a senior exchange student from Germany, played No. 2 singles for Westminster behind Flora. Westminster coach Fran McCullin said Kunze (15-2 overall, 13-0 in regular season) could play No. 1 on most teams.

Levin (sophomore) and Wentz (junior) -- who finished 15-6 -- played No. 2 doubles for Liberty but went on to win the county title. Damasio said they're "scrappy and unconventional," but will do whatever is needed to win.

Easter and Mayle were the top doubles team in the county for much of the season but were upset in the county semifinals and finished third. The seniors combined to finish 12-3 while trying to defend their 1995 county title.

Doubles teams and surprises also helped make up the rest of the girls team. The county doubles championship duo of Angie Buscemi and Sarah Oliver from Liberty plus teammate Shen Poehlman and Courtney Liddick of Westminster rounded out the girls team.

Buscemi (senior) and Oliver (junior) clashed with Tamburo and Wachter three times during the season, winning twice, including a victory in the county championship match.

They finished 16-2 and lost in the first round of the regionals. The pair played No. 1 doubles for Liberty all season and stayed consistent throughout.

Poehlman pulled off a bit of a surprise in winning the county singles title. She knocked off Liddick to take the championship. The sophomore played doubles last year and most of this year but moved up to singles in time to finish 7-3 and take home a championship.

Liddick played No. 1 all season for Westminster. The senior went 5-2 in county and made the regionals. She was the lone senior on a very young team and played well while moving from No. 2 doubles to the top singles slot.

Pub Date: 6/09/96

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