Harford County

Tennis

March 21, 2001|By Mike Frainie

Graduation hit several Harford County tennis programs hard this season, and the teams that replace their departed players the quickest will be the ones who do the best.

Four-time defending county champion Bel Air will have a new coach in Mike Daniel. The Bobcats lost a talented bunch from last year, including Danielle Hess, Tim Rohrbaugh, Margot Wallace and Lauren Wohl, all of whom participated in the state tournament last year.

What the Bobcats do have is depth. Katherine Kelly, Kim Stocki, Jenny Marousek and Lynn Hardy will battle for the girls starting spots. Tyler Nowicki will play No. 1 singles, and Pat Kapelanczyk and John Frankel will compete for the No. 2 spot.

If Bel Air stumbles, C. Milton Wright and Fallston will be able to step ahead.

The Mustangs lost four of their top eight on both the girls and the boys teams, but have some quality replacements. The boys singles will be led by senior Brandyn Fisher and Johnny Ahn. Freshman Carlie Smith joins juniors Meghan Dougherty, Kristin Dobart and Jesse Willard.

Like Bel Air, Fallston must contend with the graduation of boys singles player Jason Wright, who was a state semifinalist last season. Matt Baum, Adam Harrow and Brian Grahe are vying to take his place. The girls will be led by two seniors: Gwen Bierbower and Sharon Regan.

Only three seniors return at North Harford, so the Hawks could be a little down this year. The girls will find their strength from two freshmen: Rachel Martin and Shelly Gottesfeld. The boys will be led by juniors Matt Mansfield and Andy Chisholm.

At Joppatowne, the Mariners will return county champion Liezl Samios-Uy, who won the county title as a freshman last year. Seniors Kim Kelleher and Cheryl Lucas will back her up. The boys team is thin, but seniors Rick Helms, Josh Holland and Tom Hamlett all return and provide some depth.

Coach Mike Auth will take over at Aberdeen, which will grow as the season goes on. The most experience will be on the boys side, with seniors Paul Tardif and Chrispen Imasa. Juniors Debbie Hughes and Lindsey Taylor return for the girls.

At Harford Tech, the Cobras will field a balanced team that should be improved over last year. Most of the singles players from last season have departed, but a young group has sparked optimism. The girls will be led by sophomore Dana Volpi as well as juniors Kim Wilson and Lori Hankins. Seniors Logan Hadfield and Matt Rawlings will pace the boys.

This will be another thin year at Edgewood. The Rams lost their top players from both the girls and the boys teams. Senior Stephanie Podziemek will probably play No. 1 singles for the girls, while sophomore Dennis Gnau will handle that task for the boys.

Havre de Grace will continue to build for next season.

John Carroll will find the going tough in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, one of the area's best leagues. Still, coach Walter Burgkvist is optimistic about the Patriots' chances for improvement.

Player to watch

Liezl Samios-Uy(Joppatowne, sophomore)

Won Harford girls title last year and could contend for state title

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