victories in the girls’ singles bracket. After earning the top seed and an opening-round bye, Lopez took advantage of a pair of forfeits on Saturday to advance to the second day. On Monday, she opened with a 6-2, 6-1 win over eventual third-place winner Jamie Hale, of North East, in the semifinals, before coming back to beat Perryville’s Emily James 2-6, 6-1 and 6-2 in the final.
It marked the second straight season that Lopez defeated the Panthers’ AllCounty player to capture the lower-division crown.
“It was really close in the regular season between us and I came out on top both times. They say winning a third time is always the hardest and it really was the hardest this time,” Lopez said of her finals showdown with James. “She’s an awesome player. I give her credit where credit’s due. She’s amazing.”
Bo Manor’s combination of Jeff Ward and Gabe Shertz defeated Perryville’s duo of Aengus Vervier and Ryan Berger 6-3, 6-4 to capture the boys’ doubles title. The Eagles also swept the top two medals in mixed doubles action, as the duo of Katie Shields and Sam Bannister edged their teammates, Emely Casaolsa and Josh Goldsmith, 4-6, 7-6 and 6-0, to capture first place.
“It was different. At first we were warming up and it felt like we were at practice. It just felt normal. But once it set in and we were down in the first set, we realized we needed to get going,” Shields said. Bannister agreed. “We didn’t take it as seriously as we should have in the beginning. We just wanted to have fun with it because it was our teammates we were going against,” Bannister said. “After we lost the first set, we had to come back. After that tie break, we knew we were in it and had to keep going.”
Daniela Lopez and Grace Williams added to Bo Manor’s success by earning a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Elkton’s Jess Toller and Kemunto Okindo in the girls’ doubles final. The Panthers then swept third and fourth place after Gabby Goodnow and Teri Wennersten topped their teammates, Alex Koons and Rebecca Holman, 6-2, 6-7 and 6-3.
While Bo Manor failed to capture first place in boys’ singles, it did push two competitors into the region tournament. Teammates Stephen Lemerand and John Chambers finished second and third, respectively, to advance to next weekend’s meet.
Lemerand fell to Joppatowne’s Jared Braglio, 6-1, 6-1, in the final, while Chambers topped Perryville’s Steven Lynch in the third-place match.
“The past two years that was my goal, to go to regionals, and I didn’t do it,” Lemerand said. “I’m really happy to get here and take it further.”
Perryville experienced a memorable day on Monday, as the program placed two pairs and an indiviudal in the regional tournament after only advancing one in the past four seasons, according to its coach.
“Just watching these kids progress and play and compete, it’s just nice to to see we’ve come a long way in four years. We’ve kind of put a mark for Perryville tennis on the map,” Panthers coach Gina Pucci said. “I can remember seeding meetings where we didn’t care because we didn’t have anybody. Now I’m at seeding meetings fighting for spots for my kids.”
Follow Jordan Schatz on Twitter: @Jordan_Whig