Team is key to this tennis tourney McDonogh plays host to seven-school event

High Schools

June 08, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

McDonogh saw its regular season end on an unusual note when it lost to Gilman in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship match. The Greyhounds scored a 4-2 victory that ended McDonogh's six-year run of championships.

But McDonogh coach Laddie Levy found something that might let his Eagles end their season on a much better note. The Eagles will be host to the National Boys Prep Team Tennis Championships, starting today and running through Wednesday, and a victory there would give Levy and his players a reason to smile once more.

McDonogh, led by No. 1 Chris Chiu (the co-All-City/County Player of the Year), No. 2 Zach Myers and No. 3 David Katz, has finished second in each of the tournament's first two years, and Levy is hoping for better this year against a tough field.

"It would be a great way for us to end the season after losing the MIAA championship," Levy said. "This tournament celebrates team tennis. On the high school level and the junior level, it's all individual, but this only recognizes what the team achieves."

The tournament is in its third year and consists of seven teams from five states. In addition to McDonogh, DeMatha and St. John's at Prospect Hall (Frederick) will represent Maryland. Deerfield (Mass.), the first-year champion, the Dwight School (N.Y.), Augusta Prep (Ga.) and Western Reserve (Ohio) make up the remainder of the field.

Each team will play six matches in a round robin, and the winner will be the school with the best record. No official championship match will be held.

The tournament is played under the NCAA format, under which the first team to win four points in a match wins at that point.

Defending champion Greenhill (Texas) chose not to compete this year.

Deerfield, Dwight and McDonogh are the favorites. The Eagles were second in the MIAA A Conference, Dwight was a contender for the Mayor's Cup in New York and Deerfield was one of the top two teams in New England.

One reason Levy has liked the idea of this tournament from the start is the concept of team tennis, which this competition promotes.

"I think team tennis is good for the kids," Levy said.

"It's wonderful. When you're on the court alone, you're alone, but when you're on the court with a team, players feed off each other. We put so much pressure on these young kids, I think it's great for them."

Pub Date: 6/08/98

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