TEN­NIS

Record Observer - - Sports -

eight breaks in the first nine games.

Coyner sent a back­hand wide of the court to open the tenth game of the fi­nal set. San­to­riello hit a fore­hand wide for a 15-15 tie, but she took the lead for good when Coyner sent a fore­hand into the net from close range. An­other Coyner fore­hand caught the net be­fore she scored with a back­hand slice to pull within 40-30. But the match ended with her fi­nal two serves with­out the pres­ence of a court at­ten­dant.

“Oh my good­ness, it was very hot; I had to get an ice bag just to cool my­self down,” Coyner said. “... It [the heat] didn’t af­fect me a lot. I knew that I’m fit enough that I can stay in the game. I think maybe my fo­cus was just a lit­tle off, just in the first few games. I think that’s what set me back in that third set.”

Coyner said she trains at the Ju­nior Ten­nis Cham­pi­ons Cen­ter in Col­lege Park and she hopes to re­turn for an­other shot at the sin­gles cham­pi­onship next sea­son.

Coyner proved she could rally and win in the first set, which she trailed 5-3. She tied the set at 6-6 and dropped the first two points of the tiebreaker be­fore coun­ter­ing with three straight points. With the tiebreaker tied 6-6, San­to­riello sent a back­hand slice long and, af­ter a long rally, she sent a fore­hand long to give Coyner the 7-6 (8-6) win.

San­to­riello then dom­i­nated the sec­ond set be­fore fight­ing through the third set for the win. She ad­vanced to meet top-seeded and de­fend­ing cham­pion Mi­randa Deng of Wooten. Deng, a ju­nior, con­tin­ued to blitz through the com­pe­ti­tion on Satur­day for her third-straight sin­gles ti­tle.

Coyner had only won three games in a sec­ond-round loss in last year’s state tour­na­ment and had strug­gled to a 7-5 win in the sec­ond set of her opener. She breezed through this year’s opener, earn­ing a 6-1, 6-0 vic­tory over Pikesville’s Ni­cole Kachay.

“Ca­t­rina re­ally showed a lot of heart to­day,” Kent Is­land head coach Rick Tyng said. “She doesn’t get a lot of com­pe­ti­tion on the East­ern Shore, and to be able to come out and play a tour­na­ment-cal­iber player, and play as tough as what she did. That girl just didn’t miss, didn’t make any un­forced er­rors what­so­ever, and made Ca­t­rina hit a lot of balls that she’s not ac­cus­tomed to in the reg­u­lar sea­son.”

Coyner and Eas­ton’s girls’ dou­bles team of Carly Palmer and Ella Joshi were the only play­ers that reached this year’s quar­ter­fi­nals.

Palmer and Joshi de­feated Roo­sevelt’s Nana Mansa Es­sil­fie-Men­sah and Sarika Walia, 7-5, 6-4. Eas­ton’s duo then fell to the top-seeded team of Ca­rina Green­belt and Sari­nah Wahl of Whit­man.

Eas­ton’s Ina Lucero fell to Ran­dall­stown’s As­mara Rose, 6-0, 6-0, in girls’ sin­gles.

In boys’ sin­gles, Kent County sopho­more Ryan Sant­myer fell to Bowie’s Neerav Gan­joo, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 at the park’s fence­less court. In their hard-hit­ting match, Gan­joo was able to more con­sis­tently keep the ball in play and had suc­cess with well-struck shots sent past Sant­myer at the net. Sant­myer had won only one game in last year’s open­ing round.

In boys’ dou­bles, Eas­ton’s Luca Tondin and Devin Wil­liams fell to Ca­tonsville’s Steven Binga­man and Nathan Ke­sa­van, 6-2, 6-3. In girls’ dou­bles, North Dorch­ester’s Kathryn Allen and Kar­lie Allen fell to Lib­erty’s Elle Shatto and Abby Brecker, 6-0, 6-1. In mixed dou­bles, Queen Anne’s Rob­bie Kight and Charley Rek­stis fell to Lib­erty’s Chris­tian Lansinger and Caro­line Dan­gel, 6-0, 6-2.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Queen Anne’s Charley Rek­stis com­petes dur­ing a mixed-dou­bles match with team­mate Rob­bie Kight in the state tour­na­ment Fri­day af­ter­noon in Ol­ney.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Queen Anne’s Rob­bie Kight com­petes dur­ing a mixed-dou­bles match with team­mate Charley Rek­stis in the open­ing round of the MPSSAA state tour­na­ment Fri­day af­ter­noon in Ol­ney.

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