Huntingtown tennis topples La Plata
Tougas brothers, White win singles as Hurricanes finish 13-0
On a day in which balloons lined the outer fence at the La Plata High School tennis courts honoring the Warriors seniors who competed in their final home matches on Friday, Huntingtown proved less than generous guests as the Hurricanes departed with an 8-1 Southern Maryland Athletic Conference nondivision victory just before dusk.
Huntingtown junior Kai Tougas has made quick work of his rivals all season in boys No. 1 singles events and younger brother Taiyo Tougas has had equal success at No. 2 singles as a freshman. Hurricanes junior Bailey White has played well all season at No. 1 girls singles as well and also had little trouble with La Plata senior Michal Kittrell, 6-2, 6-0. Huntingtown wrapped up the regular season with a perfect 13-0 overall record.
“I thought my backhand was a lot better,” said White, who went 9-3 this spring with setbacks to Leonardtown’s Samantha Schwalbe, Northern’s Rachel Clark and Lackey’s Azuri Hughes. “My backhand has gotten better all season. My forehand was good today and my serves were good. I had a little bit of a slow start, but after I got warmed up I played much better.”
White’s quick victory gave her and coach Rob Martin ample time to follow the doubles matches on adjacent courts. In mixed doubles, Huntingtown’s Sam Bethge and Sydney Nader defeated La Plata’s Griffin Moyer and Erin Quartararo, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. The girls’ No. 1 doubles match took much longer, as La Plata’s Sarah Denault and Preetaman Virk finally got the better of the Hurricanes’ Anna Ersoy and Hannah Kennerly, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
“That was a great match,” La Plata coach Eulo Regala said. The Warriors fell to 9-3 overall and finished up their regular season on Tuesday versus
McDonough to make up an April 27 postponement. “It was definitely the best match of the day. It was getting almost dark when they finished. It went back and forth with a lot of close sets, but Sarah and Preetaman pulled it out. That was the only match we won, but there were a lot of matches with a lot of close games that could have gone either way.”
One of those extremely close matches evolved on another adjacent court as Huntingtown’s Emily Mitchell finally prevailed over La Plata senior Madison Smith in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, in girls No. 2 singles. During the midway point of the second set, Mitchell and Smith had several prolonged volleys with the ball crossing over the net no less than 15 times on four rallies and 22 on one occasion.
“That was one of those matches where on another day maybe Madison gets one or two of those points and it goes all three sets,” Regala said. “Even though it went in straight sets, it really was very close. The SMAC tournament should be very interesting. We lost three matches to Great Mills, Leonardtown and Huntingtown, but a lot of games in those matches were very close and could have gone either way.”
La Plata’s mixed doubles tandem of Erin Quartararo and Griffin Moyer went all three sets against Huntingtown’s Sydney Nader and Sam Bethge, but the Hurricanes tandem prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.