Ahn-Sahu duo wins girls title in doubles

Pair from C.M. Wright only locals to win states

Montgomery County rolls

State tennis

High Schools

May 30, 2004|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK - Jessica Ahn and Anita Sahu knew their partnership on C. Milton Wright's girls doubles team would be good; they just didn't know how good. Yesterday, they found out.

Ahn, a sophomore, and Sahu, a junior, combined to defeat Debbie Lin and Tiffany Hodges of Walter Johnson, 6-1, 6-1, for the doubles title at the state tennis championships at the University of Maryland.

The pair were the only area players to win a state title. Montgomery County schools dominated the other four classifications, winning titles in boys and girls singles, as well as boys and mixed doubles.

"We had to get used to each other's game," said Sahu of Ahn, who played No. 2 singles during the year for the Mustangs, while Sahu played doubles all year. "I knew Jess was a great player. She turned out to be a great partner."

C. Milton Wright coach Peter Griffiths put the team together after the Harford County tournament, and Ahn said it was an adjustment for her at first.

"I'm a singles player, so Anita helped me along," Ahn said. "Doubles are very different from singles, so I had to make some adjustments."

The title was especially sweet for Sahu, who reached the doubles final last season with Kaila Raines, and lost.

"It's kind of hard to get that close and lose," said Sahu. "It feels really great to finally do it this time."

The same could not be said for Glenelg's Julia Facchina. The senior, who finished third in a loaded field last year, advanced to the finals but lost to Maggie MacKeever of Winston Churchill, 7-5, 6-4.

Facchina appeared to have the early advantage, but MacKeever, a sophomore, forced Facchina to the net before hitting winners down the line.

"She was just better than I was today," said Facchina, who defeated MacKeever in last year's quarterfinals. "I went out there and tried to play my game, but it didn't work out."

MacKeever said it took her awhile to get going against Facchina.

"She plays a very mental match," said MacKeever. "She tries to get you into long rallies, and it's a matter of who can stay in the point longer. I just had to stay focused and outlast her."

MacKeever advanced to the title match by defeating Catonsville's Ashley Harvey in a marathon, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4. Harvey rebounded nicely, however, and defeated Thomas Johnson's Tonya Gulnick, 6-4, 0-6, 6-1, to take third place.

Howard County also took second place in boys singles, when regional and county champion Ryan Lissner of Centennial, a freshman, lost to Churchill's Jared Pinsky, 6-4, 6-4.

Just as Facchina did, Lissner took an early lead before Pinsky asserted himself. Pinsky, also a freshman, did an excellent job of moving Lissner around the court and frustrating him.

"I started out with a 4-2 lead [in games], but I didn't hit the deep ball enough, said Lissner. "I let him attack, and he took advantage of that."

Lissner advanced to the final by defeating Montgomery County champion and defending state champion Michael Goodwin, 6-4, 6-1. Goodwin settled for third by defeating Daniel Barnas of LaPlata.

In boys doubles, Baltimore County singles champion Zach Chafitz teamed with doubles ace Andrew Kaye, both Pikesville seniors, to take the third-place match with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Scott Burtzlaff and Trevor Anderson of River Hill. The feat duplicates what the pair did last season, when they won the consolation match.

"It's a shame we couldn't go out on top, but we picked it up and beat a good team," said Kaye.

Chafitz said this win means more than the one last year.

"We played better this time," said Chafitz. "But we played better competition. We had our chances [in the semifinal], but we didn't capitalize."

Walt Whitman's Jeffrey Luse and Nima Ossareh, who beat Kaye and Chafitz in the semifinals, won the boys doubles title. The pair beat Oliver Gaines and B.J. Sky of Walter Johnson, 0-6, 6-2, 6-4, to take the crown.

Katie Seibel and Ashley Groft of Westminster advanced to the girls doubles consolation finals before being bested by Catherine Lin and Olivia Chang of Churchill, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Championship finals Boys singles: Pinsky (Churchill) d. Lissner (Centennial), 6-4, 6-4. Girls singles: MacKeever (Churchill) d. Facchina (Glenelg), 7-5, 6-4. Boys doubles: Luse/Ossareh (Whitman) d. Gaines/Sky (Walter Johnson), 0-6, 6-2, 6-4. Girls doubles: Ahn/Sahu (C.M. Wright) d. Lin/Hodges (Walter Johnson), 6-1, 6-1. Mixed doubles: Foelster/Tran (Walter Johnson) d. Aben/Sundstrom (Paint Branch), 6-1, 6-1.

Consolation finals Boys singles: Goodwin (Richard Montgomery) d. Barnas (LaPlata), 7-5, 6-3. Girls singles: Harvey (Catonsville) d. Gulnick (Thomas Johnson), 6-4, 0-6, 6-1. Boys doubles: Chafitz/Kaye (Pikesville) d. Burtzlaff/Anderson (River Hill), 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Girls doubles: Lin/Chang (Churchill) d. Seibel/Groft (Westminster), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Mixed doubles: Gay/Chisholm (LaPlata) d. Davidson/Davidson (River Hill), 6-1, 3-1 (default).

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