McDonogh gets better of St. Paul's

Eagles finish second to DeMatha at nationals

June 07, 2000|By Sam Borden | Sam Borden,SUN STAFF

On the last day of the National Prep Team Tennis Championships, the players from DeMatha High School took home a trophy, while McDonogh's took home local bragging rights.

DeMatha coach George Thayer, who has been at the Washington-area school for seven years, is vacating his post at the top of the program. Yesterday, his players made sure he went out a winner.

DeMatha took first place in the round-robin event, going undefeated in the five-team field. DeMatha finished its victory with a 4-1 defeat of Dwight High School. Kenny Roy, Chris Roland and Dan Roland all did not lose a match in the three-day tournament; a tournament that Thayer considered skipping after a regular season that included two losses in league play.

"That's the first time in four years that's happened," Thayer said. "I said we wouldn't come to National Preps if we didn't win the conference championship, but we did. This team has a history of stepping it up in conferences and at National Preps, and I knew they would this year."

In a match that determined which team would finish second, McDonogh rallied from a loss in the doubles matches to win four points in singles and deny local rival St. Paul's, 4-2. In the featured match, Steve Hallock overcame a one-set deficit to knock off top singles player Anthony Hamod, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, in a match filled with long rallies and plenty of emotion.

"It was tough because I wasn't very conditioned today," said Hallock, who noted the high school season ended a month ago and showed signs of cramping in the third set. "Near the end, I wanted to stay consistent and just keep it in the court."

McDonogh coach Laddie Levy said he wasn't surprised to see his top player turn it around.

"You get to the finish of a close match like that and you just want to get the balls back," Levy said. "Steve was doing that very well."

And even though DeMatha took home the first-place hardware, the victory over their local rivals meant a lot to McDonogh's players.

"We just can't lose to St. Paul's," Hollock said.

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