Hebron captures county

Last-match victory beats Wilde Lake by 1

Tennis

High Schools

May 14, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron won three individual championhships yesterday at the county tournament, including Katie Long's straight-set singles victory in the last event that propeled the Vikings to a one-point victory over Wilde Lake for the Tournament Cup trophy.

Mount Hebron, the tournament winner two years ago, and Wilde Lake, last season's trophy champion, each had three finalists at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club. The Vikings, who trailed the Wildecats by one point entering the finals, won all three to finish with 16 points. The Wildecats lost two of three and finished with 15. River Hill (14 points) and Centennial (13) followed.

Wilde Lake took an early two-point lead yesterday when its second-seeded doubles team of David Lax and Ari Zweig defeated top-seeded Eric Buchner and Brian Pryse of River Hill, 6-2, 6-0.

The Vikings got back to within a point when its third-seeded mixed doubles team of Audrey Damrongski and Brandon Nam defeated Centennial's top-seeded Jessica Abel and Matt Lano, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Mount Hebron's top-seed Rohan Nabar completed an undefeated season with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Glenelg's second-seeded Ryan Yao for the boys singles title. The victory earned the Vikings a 15-all tie with Wilde Lake.

When second-seeded Kristin Mangliz and Devon Humphries of River Hill surprised top-seeded and defending county champion Lizzie Richman and Jackie Taubman of Wilde Lake, 6-4, 6-0, in the girls doubles final, it left Long and Wilde Lake's Lauren Bondroff battling for two titles.

Long, a finalist two years ago and fourth last season in the tournament, took the first set, 6-1. Bondroff, a singles finalist last year who split with Long during the regular season, opened a 3-1 lead in the second set. Long battled back for a 6-5 lead, and had three championship points against Bondroff's serve. But the Wilde Lake junior forced a 6-all.

Long, who hit mostly soft lobs to Bondroff's line drives, won the first five points of the tiebreaker en route to a 7-1 win. As soon as Bondroff's backhand shot sailed long, Mount Hebron's teammates came out to congratulate Long."It's such a huge relief," said Long. "I've been so afraid to want to win because I was worried I would lose. But deep down I wanted to win so much, and to cement the team title makes it that much better."

Bondroff said that "endurance was a big factor" yesterday in the sweltering heat. And the fact that Long hit almost everything back with hardly any pace tested Bondroff's patience and strength."That type of player is really hard to beat, especially on a day like today," Bondroff said.

Nabar and Yao, both freshmen, started slow but ended up playing a wonderful match. Nabar, who lost to Yao twice in winter tournaments but beat him two times during the county season, broke Yao three times in the third set.

Nabar won his serve to take a 5-4 advantage, and earned two match points in the next game. Yao saved the first, but double-faulted to end the match.

Yao hurt his back when he hit an overhead in his semifinal victory Friday, and it gave him problems against Nabar."Toward the end it hurt on every shot," Yao said.

Nabar knew Yao was hurting, and tried to take advantage. "In the second set I started to try and move him side to side and make him make the error."

No one expected such a one-sided match in the boys doubles final. "We thought it would be a really close match," said Zweig, who won the county singles last year. "We're surprised by the score."

Both teams know each well, and even practiced together last weekend. The difference yesterday was that Zweig and Lax, a sophomore, put the pressure on early and never let up. "That's the best we've played together," Zweig said.

In the girls doubles, Humphries' net play and Manglitz's strong ground strokes were too much for the defending county champs to overcome.

The top four in the county advance to the District III tournament, which is Friday and Saturday at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club.

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