Simonette at last has his `A' game - and title

After seasons of injuries, Calvert Hall senior beats Gober for crown at No. 1

MIAA tennis

High Schools

May 08, 2004|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

If tennis has taught Calvert Hall's Gary Simonette one thing, it's patience. That paid off yesterday as he defeated defending No. 1 singles champion Mark Gober of McDonogh to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, at the Greenspring Racquet Club in Towson.

After dropping the first set, Simonette broke Gober's serve in the second game of the second set and never trailed in the set. Simonette spotted the fellow senior a 2-0 lead in the third set before rallying to claim the match with six straight games.

As a freshman, Simonette played behind then-sophomore Joey Atas, who is now at Ohio State and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore, Simonette was picked by many to win the A Conference, but had a bad season.

Everything was supposed to come together his junior year, but he dislocated his shoulder and settled for the No. 2 singles title.

This season, it looked like he'd push Gober all year, but Simonette injured his back early and sat until a few weeks ago.

"It's great to finally establish myself as my own player, and not have to be mentioned behind someone else," said Simonette. "Mark's a great player, but I made up my mind to really focus in the second set and start making less errors."

Gober, who says they have played each other since they were 10 years old, gave Simonette credit.

"I was having trouble holding serve, and my first-serve percentage was way down," said Gober. "We know each other's game so well that he became more aggressive when I was having trouble."

In other action, Gilman freshman Zach Gorn defeated Shalin Parikh, 7-6 (8), 6-1, in the A Conference No. 2 final.

"It's kind of amazing," said Gorn. "Not many freshmen get to do what I did today."

Andy Peters of McDonogh survived a second-set loss to Gilman's Josh Sweren before capturing the No. 3 title, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0.

In A Conference doubles, McDonogh swept. At No. 1, the team of Corey Chow and Matt Ford defeated Loyola's Sean Kraft and Dan Rodgers, 6-1, 6-2. In No. 2, Austin Brodie and Joel Posner beat Rubin Khan and Jon Thompson of Gilman, 6-2, 6-3.

The B Conference No. 1 final was filled with some drama. Archbishop Spalding senior Steve Peltzman, who had not lost a set to a B Conference opponent all year, was trailing Beth Tfiloh's Nathan Kaplan 7-5. It was tied at 4 in the second set when Kaplan began to get leg cramps. He continued until he had to retire from the match trailing, 5-7, 6-4, 1-0.

"It's not the type of win I wanted, but I'll take it. I wish he could have held out and we could have finished," said Peltzman.

Spalding won both the No. 2 and No. 3 singles when Robert Dupaya defeated Aviva Vogelstein of Beth Tfiloh, 6-3, 6-2, and Sean Gerding defeated Hunter Cuniff of the Key School, 6-3. 7-5. Mark Allison of John Carroll won the No. 4 singles over Celeste Malama, 6-3, 6-4.

Beth Tfiloh won the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Kaplan and Vogelstein defeated Sam Barton and Luke Smith of John Carroll, 8-5; Jarren Ginsburg and Evan Schwartz defeated Cuniff and Teddy Wolff of the Key School, 8-4. Curley's Rai Parekh and Vladimir Stadnik defeated Key's Malama and Mike Bernstein, 8-3, to win at No. 3.

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