Nabar takes back boys title

Glenelg grinds out Cup win

Gladiators' girls get help from boys doubles team

High Schools

May 12, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

For Mount Hebron's Rohan Nabar, yesterday's Howard County tennis championships were like coming home after a long trip and finding everything just as you left it.

But for the entire Glenelg team, yesterday was like reaching a summit only previously imagined.

Two years ago, Nabar took the county tennis scene by storm, winning the boys singles title as a freshman.

After choosing to sit out his sophomore season to focus on his national ranking, he returned this year, looking as good as ever, and completed his second undefeated season in county play by breezing to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Wilde Lake's David Lax in the final.

"I was really relaxed out there," Nabar said. "It was fun to be back, and it was fun to play David today."

It wasn't enough, however, to overshadow a balanced effort by Glenelg in the team competition. Led by victories from Marianne Baker, who won the girls singles title, and Becca Gaylor and Monica Marrie, who took the girls doubles crown, the Gladiators won their first Tournament Cup championship, which goes to the school with the most combined points for boys and girls.

Glenelg needed every match to pull it off, finishing with 32 points, just ahead of Mount Hebron, second with 30.

"I'm just thrilled right now," said Glenelg coach Mary Ellen Doyle. "My heart is bigger than my body. Every single match was important today. There weren't any matches that didn't matter."

Doyle wasn't being overly dramatic in her assessment. Glenelg didn't clinch the title until Marrie and Gaylor defeated Elizabeth Kenez and Meredith Ely of River Hill, 7-5, 7-6 (4), in a tense final match of the day.

But the Gladiators - whose strength is their girls team - wouldn't have even been in position to win if not for two early-round doubles victories (which translated into three crucial points) from its unheralded boys team of Ed Krumpotich and Nick Wiker. Krumpotich had never even played varsity tennis before this season.

"Everyone on the team knew what it would take to reach that magic number," Doyle said. "I was so proud of Eddie and Nick."

Doyle was proud, too, of Baker, last year's state champion, who defeated teammate and close friend Julie Facchina, 6-2, 6-3, to win the singles crown for the second year in a row. Facchina, who is regarded as the second-best player in the county, has not lost to a county opponent besides Baker.

"The hardest part is going out there and seeing [Julia] as the enemy," Baker said. "On the court, it's almost like you're at war, and that's pretty hard when you're playing your best friend."

Though Nabar was the favorite to take back the singles crown, few expected him to do it by beating Lax. Though Lax has been the Wildecats' top player for the past two seasons, he was unseeded going into the tournament and had an 11-6 match record for the season.

But Lax pulled off a big surprise in the quarterfinals by beating last year's singles champion, Britt Boras of River Hill, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

"I was thinking about playing doubles in the tournament, but I just decided it was my senior year, it was time to go for it," Lax said. "I told myself, if I can beat Britt, I'm going to the finals. I played well against him, and that's what happened."

In an emotional three-set boys doubles final, Tejaswi Basoor and Greg Kennedy of Hammond won their second consecutive championship by defeating David Jacobs and Brian Siemens of Oakland Mills, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

"It was one of the most intense matches of my life," Basoor said. "You could tell we were nervous the last game, but when we finally pulled it out it was exhilarating."

In the mixed-doubles final, Kevin Norman and Audrey Damrongsri of Mount Hebron defeated Whitney Edmonds and Jon Hess of Centennial, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

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