SMAC places five in top four at re­gion ten­nis tour­ney

H-town duo headed to states; St. Charles’ Paras takes fourth

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­ Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

Af­ter plac­ing sec­ond at the South­ern Maryland Ath­letic Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment, the Hunt­ing­town mixed dou­bles team of Bai­ley White and Kai Tougas was hop­ing for a bet­ter re­sult in the next tour­na­ment. Mis­sion ac­com­plished. White and Tougas de­feated the Arun­del team of Cam­mie Nor­ton and An­dreas Linke 7-5, 6-3 to claim the Re­gion IV ten­nis tour­na­ment Satur­day at An­napo­lis High School in Anne Arun­del County. Day 1 of the tour­na­ment was held May 18 at North Point High School in Wal­dorf.

“It feels great,” White said. “Right off the bat [Kai and I] started play­ing well to­gether. We kind of clicked right away. We work well to­gether.”

“The team and the coaches are very proud of what Bai­ley and Kai have ac­com­plished so far,” Hunt­ing­town head coach Rob Martin wrote in an email to South­ern Maryland News­pa­pers.

Play­ers were seeded on Tues­day will be held Fri­day and Satur­day at Wilde Lake Ten­nis Club in Howard County.

“Bai­ley and Kai have the po­ten­tial to do well at the state tour­na­ment,” Martin said. “The hard part this week will be stay­ing fo­cused and get­ting an op­por­tu­nity to get out­side and prac­tice.”

Seeded as the SMAC’s No. 2 team, White and Tougas breezed past Broad­neck 6-0, 6-0 and faced per­haps their tough­est test of the tour­na­ment when they met Sev­erna Park — the top Anne Arun­del seed — in the semi­fi­nals.

But the Hunt­ing­town duo ral­lied for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 vic­tory in what White said was a “long and stress­ful match.”

“We knew that would be our hard­est match, [so] our strat­egy was just to go out there and play like we did our first match [which was to] just go out there and play our hard­est,” White said. “Kai had to take over and once he did we just started win­ning [points]. I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter part­ner.”

“Bai­ley has been play­ing sin­gles for the last four years and was able to main­tain ral­lies from the base­line with the op­pos­ing team,” Martin said. “She was able to han­dle the pace, and spins that the other team was sending her way, and she was bring­ing it right back to them. Kai was able to con­trol the net, and with a player that ac­tive at the net, the op­po­nents had to hit great shots to pass him or avoid him al­to­gether.”

Patux­ent’s mixed dou­bles team of sib­lings Evan and MacKen­zie Dinopou­los — which claimed the SMAC cham­pi­onship — fin­ished third fol­low­ing a for­feit win over the Fal­cons. The SMAC No. 1 seed up­ended South River 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 in the quar­ter­fi­nals be­fore fall­ing to Arun­del in straight sets in the semis.

“She played great, but I don’t think I played up to my stan­dards,” Evan Dinopou­los said of his sis­ter. “Usu­ally I use my men­tal game against teams, but it was work­ing against me. She’s al­ways re­ally calm. I think [the fact she’s my sis­ter] I was a lot more com­fort­able with what I said and did with her [as my part­ner]. I thought we had a great season. We won SMAC and be­sides that last game, I don’t think it could have been bet­ter.”

“Our kids fought hard but fell short Satur­day,” Patux­ent head coach Rico Aris said of Evan, a se­nior, and McKen­zie, a sopho­more. “They had a tremen­dous season and it would’ve been nice to see the brother and sis­ter team make it to the state tour­na­ment. Un­for­tu­nately all good things come to an end.”

In girls dou­bles, Sa­man­tha Chan and Erika Dozier also added a third-place fin­ish when they de­feated Broad­neck 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the con­so­la­tion fi­nal. The duo — the SMAC No. 1 seed — downed a North­east tan­dem 6-0, 6-1 be­fore a loss to Sev­erna Park rel­e­gated them to the con­so­la­tion bracket.

In sin­gles play, Adrian Paras of St. Charles placed fourth in boys sin­gles fol­low­ing a 6-7 (6-7), 1-6 de­feat to Broad­neck in the con­so­la­tion fi­nal.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing a firstround bye, Paras downed North County’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive 6-0, 7-6 but fell in the semi­fi­nals to the even­tual cham­pion from Broad­neck.

Leonard­town’s Sa­man­tha Sch­walbe also added a fourth-place fin­ish af­ter fall­ing 3-6, 3-6 in the con­so­la­tion fi­nal to the An­napo­lis rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Sch­walbe, the No. 2 SMAC seed, re­ceived a first-round bye and was ahead of her An­napo­lis op­po­nent 4-3 when the Pan­ther re­tired. Sch­walbe then moved to the con­so­la­tion round fol­low­ing a straight-set loss to even­tual cham­pion Abby Mogh­tader of Sev­erna Park.

Patux­ent’s Nathan Po­teet (boys sin­gles), North­ern’s Kirsten Kosa (girls sin­gles), La Plata’s Kier Nacua and Grif­fin Moyer (boys dou­bles), Hunt­ing­town’s Han­nah Ken­nerly and Syd­ney Nader (girls dou­bles) and Leonard­town’s Richard Glad­well and Han­nah Keeney (mixed dou­bles) each won their first-round matches.

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