If Pikesville junior Matt Jacobson walked through a rain shower this week, chances are he would escape untouched.
Jacobson finished his surprising run to the Baltimore County boys No. 1 singles tennis championship with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Hereford junior Jeff Borowitz yesterday afternoon at CCBC-Catonsville. Meanwhile in the girls No. 1 singles final, freshman Ashley Harvey of Catonsville downed defending county champion Brooke Rogers of Franklin, 6-1, 6-0.
Jacobson, who won the county No. 1 doubles title last year and the county mixed doubles title in 2000 as a freshman, improved to 10-0 this season. His trip to the title, however, was softened by a series of fortuitous circumstances.
First, Jacobson avoided a potential semifinal match with Dulaney's Chase Dawson when the two-time county No. 1 singles champion and 2001 state finalist pulled out of the quarterfinals with an injured leg.
Jacobson then skirted an engagement with the tournament's overwhelming favorite, top-seeded Jake Benzal of Franklin, because Benzal skipped town to go to the University of Texas on a recruiting trip. In the semifinals, Benzal led Borowitz 6-0, 5-1 before retiring in a sportsmanlike gesture.
"I can't really worry about what other people do," Jacobson said. "I just have to play my matches. I would have been fine playing Benzal or Dawson. Either way, it doesn't matter to me."
Jacobson took the match by playing patiently and consistently and waiting for Borowitz to commit unforced errors. Borowitz attacked the net, but Jacobson passed him several times both down the line and crosscourt.
In the girls final, Harvey made quick work of Rogers with a strong baseline game and few unforced errors. Harvey, who plays national tournaments outside of school, lost just four games in three matches en route to the title.
"This was my toughest match in the county so far," Harvey said. "In the beginning, I kind of let my opponents have a chance to play instead of just going out there and blasting girls off the court."
In the team competition, Pikesville edged Franklin, 40-37, to win the team title. Pikesville has won or shared the tournament title all five years since team scores have been kept.