Pikesville collects title again

Panthers have won prize in 33 of past 35 seasons

May 13, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After watching his team lose to both Towson and Dulaney during the regular season, Pikesville's first year coach, Jerry Dresner, was admittedly nervous heading into yesterday's finale of the Baltimore County Tennis Championships at Catonsville Community College.

In the end, however, the perennial-power Panthers, as they do just about every year, found a way to get the job done.

Pikesville posted three championships on the day, holding off both the Generals and Lions in winning the county title for the fifth straight year and 33rd in the past 35. The Panthers' last loss, five years ago, came as the result of a disqualification.

This time, however, the championship was no guarantee.

"They all really had to perform to give us a shot at the team title," said Dresner, "and they all came up big and played really well."

Pikesville won with 32 points, followed by Towson (26), Dulaney (18), Randallstown (17) and Franklin (16).

Panthers champions included Jeff Kraft (No. 2 boys singles), Matt Levinson and Jeff Bloom (boys doubles) and Danielle Gordon and Josh Goldberg (mixed doubles). Kraft (13-0), a sophomore in his first year at the school, defeated Overlea's Patrick Alban, 6-1, 6-4, and Levinson and Bloom successfully defended their county crown, beating Overlea's Timothy Bauer and William Wingerd, 6-1, 6-2.

Gordon and Goldberg, who only recently joined forces as a team, defeated the Franklin duo of Ashley Toher and Charles Silipole, 6-2, 6-3.

The best match of the finals occurred in girls doubles, where after winning the first set, 6-4, Dulaney sisters Irene and Debbie Ho seemed to succumb to the sweltering conditions on the hard court.

Facing Towson's Alex Samet and Courtney Marshon, a pair they defeated twice during the regular season, the Hos dropped the second set, 2-6, and were tied at 6-6 in the final set before prevailing, 9-7, in a tiebreaker.

"During the second set, we really had to fight the heat," said Irene Ho, a junior, who along with her freshman sister have yet to lose this season. "I thought we were going to lose. We were doing a lot of praying. The third set, we got our energy back."

In the girls No. 1 singles final, Leslie Harvey's juggernaut continued to roll, as the undefeated Randallstown senior defeated Towson freshman Vena Rao, 6-0, 6-0.

"She a very good player, but our age difference is a factor," said Harvey, the defending state singles champion. "I have more experience than her."

Younger sister Elizabeth Harvey had similar results, beating Towson's Meredith Haas in the No. 2 girls finals, 6-2, 6-1.

In No. 1 boys singles, Dulaney's Adam Derrer cruised, defeating surprising Towson freshman Mike Blake, 6-0, 6-0 in the finals.

City champions

City's James Giza won the boys singles title in the Baltimore public-schools tennis tournament yesterday, defeating Dunbar's Terrell Johnson with ease, 6-1 6-1. The girls singles title went to Western's Pertia Wood, who defeated teammate Alexis Noel, 6-1, 6-2.

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