Pikesville's Chafitz ends wait with No. 1 crown

After 2 years as top No. 2, senior also waits out Catonsville's McDaniel


High Schools

May 13, 2004|By Tommy Ventre | Tommy Ventre,SUN STAFF

Zach Chafitz had been awaiting this match for a while.

For two years, the Pikesville senior played in the shadow of two-time Baltimore County champion Matt Jacobson, winning two titles at No. 2 singles in the process. This season, with Jacobson graduated and the Panthers' No. 1 singles slot finally his, Chafitz had to wait for a right wrist injury that limited him to four regular-season matches to heal.

Tuesday, after a three-match run through the No. 1 singles bracket at the county championships, Chafitz was told he'd have to wait again after the final was postponed a day.

Finally, down 2-0 to Catonsville sophomore Matt McDaniel yesterday in the No. 1 singles championship at Catonsville High, Chafitz decided he'd waited long enough.

He won 12 of the next 13 games to take a 6-2, 6-1 win over McDaniel and cap Pikesville's ninth straight county title.

"I was excited to finally get the opportunity," said Chafitz, who'll play at Delaware next year. "I was ready to play."

But McDaniel was ready, too, and he showed it by breaking Chafitz's serve in the opening game and blasting two forehand winners to take the second. He saved two game points in the third before Chafitz hit a service winner to get on the board.

"He started off on fire and I was caught off-guard," Chafitz said. "But then I tried to attack a little bit more and come into net and attack his backhand."

The tactic worked. Chafitz used well-placed kick serves and short volleys to hamstring McDaniel, whose power faded as the match grew longer.

"He kept the same game the entire time. It was really steady," said McDaniel, who finished third last year. "The first two games I was up here and he was down here, and then it just [evened out]."

Pikesville had a winner in No. 2 singles as well, with Todd Jacobson -- Matt's younger brother -- beating Perry Hall's Ben Graf, 6-0, 6-0. In third-place matches, Hereford's Jason Sutton beat Ryan Woodring of Eastern Tech, 5-7, 2-6, at No. 1 singles, and Eastern Tech's Zach Martin won by forfeit at No. 2.

Pikesville had claimed the team title by the end of play Tuesday but got 14 points from its two wins yesterday to finish the tournament with 49 points. Catonsville was second with 28.

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