Milbourn regains edge over Brown

Roland Park ace avenges December loss, but Reds fall to Bryn Mawr, 8-1

Squash

High Schools

January 14, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After Libbey Brown defeated Hayley Milbourn last month for the first time in their long squash rivalry, Milbourn realized that she needed to develop more strategy.

The Roland Park freshman had always relied on her ability to overpower opponents, but she no longer had that edge. Brown, a Bryn Mawr sophomore, hit hard, too, and she proved it in her 3-0 victory between the teams' No. 1 players on Dec. 11.

"As you get older, that really doesn't matter any more," said Milbourn, 15, "because we both hit the ball as hard as each other. I had to have shot selection instead of just power. I can't power my way through any more. I have to control the ball more."

Yesterday, Milbourn relied on that shot selection to avenge the earlier loss and edge Brown, 3-2, in the second regular-season match between the two teams at the Roland Park racket facility.

However, Milbourn was the only Reds player to win a match, as the Mawrtians won the team competition for the second time this season, 8-1.

In her match, a best three-of-five contest in which the first player to accumulate nine points wins each game, Milbourn overcame a broken racket, a love game loss and her nerves.

"Libbey's very calm, and I get so frustrated," said Milbourn, who has played Brown dozens of times since they were 11 years old. "She's always in control and collected. It's hard to know if she's getting frustrated."

In the hard-hitting match, both players were quick to the ball and mixed up their shots. Milbourn won the first game, but couldn't close out the determined Brown until the fifth game, taking the match, 9-7, 0-9, 10-8, 5-9, 9-3.

"She hits the ball extremely hard," said Brown, 16, "and she's really fast. She has great drop shots."

The Reds and the Mawrtians will now complete their schedules against out-of-town teams, because no other Baltimore schools have girls teams.

Yesterday, Sarah Hawkins, Mandy Mahle, Tara Rubenstein, Drayden Peters, Rebecca Tate, Sarah Gilarsky, Sarah Hemmedinger and Carrie Himmelrich won their matches for Bryn Mawr.

It didn't help the Reds to be playing without their No. 2, Betsy Griffin, who was sidelined with a knee injury. That forced all of the other Reds to move up a spot. Although many of the matches were close in points, five of them were 3-0 wins.

"I still think it could have gone either way. On one court after another, it was very close," said Mawrtians coach Joe Lacy Jr., whose daughters Alli and Liza and niece Griffin play for Roland Park while his brother-in-law Clarke Griffin coaches the Reds.

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