1996 All-Anne Arundel County tennis team

June 09, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Meghan Cornwall and Andrew Carlson swept through the county and regionals like a wave this season and powered their way into the state singles tennis finals.

Annapolis' Cornwall again knew what to do in the always-intense finals, winning her third straight state girls singles title and 89th consecutive match for a fantastic 110-2 final career record.

Arundel's Carlson ran into a force named Derrick Nguyen of Quince Orchard in the finals and had to settle for second place in the state boys singles, ending his celebrated high school career with a rare loss and a final record of 82-6.

With Cornwall (West Virginia) and Carlson (Ohio State) heading off to major Division I schools on tennis scholarships, it is no surprise they are being honored by the Baltimore Sun as Anne Arundel County's Girls Player of the Year and Boys Player of the Year, respectively.

The two seniors headline the All-Anne Arundel County tennis team that also includes the boys doubles team of South River juniors Howie Edelstein and Matt Hanna, the girls doubles team of Arundel junior Lindsay Carlson and senior Neely Harris, and the mixed doubles tandem of Arundel sophomore David Flage and senior Luci Garayzabal.

The Coach of the Year is Arundel's Gerry Quickel whose team led the Anne Arundel County charge in the state tournament and helped the county produce more team points than its long-time rival Montgomery County.

Quickel also guided Arundel to the Anne Arundel County tournament championship after losing the regular-season title to upstart Broadneck and its outstanding coach Phoebe Kelly.

Quickel seems to have a knack for pairing doubles partners, such as Flage and Garayzabal who had never played together before this season.

Garayzabal is a senior exchange student from Argentina and just joined the Arundel team this season but became an instant success with Flage, a sophomore.

They went all the way to the state mixed doubles semifinals and came close to making it to the finals, having two match points in the second set of the semifinals before losing the match, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.

Flage and Garayzabal finished with an 8-2 record after playing singles most of the regular season.

"From Day 1, I could see that Luci knew how to play," said Quickel. "She had a nice serve and good ground strokes and kept developing throughout the season."

Said Quickel: "Dave keeps improving his serve and is a good serve-and-volleyer. I think he has a chance to be as good as Andrew [Carlson] when Dave is a senior. I felt they would make a good team."

But were they state championship contenders?

"I sort of thought they would win the county and region championships but I didn't expect them to be so close to the state finals," said Quickel. "They might have won it all if they had won the semis."

For Cornwall, it's been an incredible three-year run after finishing third in the states as a freshman.

She didn't just dominate the county, regionals and state competition for three years -- she owned her opponents, losing ++ only one set in each of the three seasons.

In her final match in an Annapolis uniform two weeks ago, Cornwall recovered against Karen Prangley of Atholton in the state finals to win 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.

"It was the worst I ever saw her play," said Annapolis coach Richard King. "Meghan was making three unforced errors a game in the first set. She was worried so much about going to the beach [seniors' week] that she almost lost the match. She was having a graduation party that night and leaving for the beach the next day."

Cornwall had match point against her at 6-5 in the second set but got some help on a Prangley double fault and eventually won the second set tie-breaker before taking control in the third set.

"Meghan won because of her experience," said King. "She's a great kid and a lot of credit for her development as a player has to go to her private coach Bill Moldach."

For Andrew Carlson, it was a brilliant season in which he proved he could win big in singles or doubles.

He had a four-year record of 82-6 in singles and doubles, won the state doubles championship along with Florian Jung as a junior, and gave top-seeded Nguyen a tough battle before losing the state boys singles finals, 6-4, 7-5, two weeks ago.

"I have to believe Andrew's concentration was interrupted by the sight of his mother on the sidelines with his cap and gown in case he decided to go to graduation in between the semifinal and final matches that day," said Quickel.

"Andrew finally gave up the idea of going to graduation, saying it would take too much away from his game. But I think it was still on his mind in the finals."

However, the sight of Andrew Carlson tearing through the entire regular season in Anne Arundel County losing only three games, no sets, and not losing a game in either the county tournament or regionals won't soon be forgotten.

The boys doubles team of South River's Edelstein and Hanna made it to the state finals with a 12-0 record in match play, beginning with the county tournament.

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