County tennis players hope to net state titles

May 26, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Not even an impending regional championship tennis match last weekend could stop North Hagerstown senior Vincent Schoeck from sharing his joy over qualifying for the state tournament.

"He's very happy about it," Hubs coach Frank McAdoo said. "He was waiting to play in the finals, and he looks at me and says, 'I'm going to states!' And I said, 'You sure are.'"

Three other Washington County doubles teams shared the feeling, and they will join Schoeck - a three-time county tournament boys singles champion - at the University of Maryland-College Park today at 11 a.m. for the start of the two-day state tournament.

Schoeck's loss to Walkersville's David Lupinetti in the Region I final is his only blemish this season. He enters the state tournament 16-1 and faces Pikesville's Paul Burgin in today's first round, with the winner likely facing Rockville's Chris Goodwin, the top seed, in the quarterfinals later in the day.


"(Schoeck) serves and volleys quite a bit," McAdoo said. "He's always in the correct position to hit the ball and return it where he needs to."

Each of the three doubles teams - North's mixed doubles team of Sarah Macht and Justin Harris; Smithsburg's boys doubles team of Derek Kretzer and David Kurz; and Clear Spring's mixed doubles team of Megan Blickenstaff and Andrew Beadle - consists of players who played singles during the regular season, making the switch to give themselves a better chance to make states.

Macht and Harris (6-0), the county mixed doubles champs, have by far the easiest draw of the three teams. They earned the fourth seed at states thanks to winning the Region I title by defeating Blickenstaff and Beadle in the final.

"Being No. 1 (Macht) and No. 2 (Harris) singles players, they're very good players," McAdoo said. "They're both seniors, and they came to me and said they thought they'd do well as a team. ... Justin has a tremendous serve. He's hit several over 100 mph. He has an excellent volley and covers the court well. Sarah is very consistent and can cover her area."

Blickenstaff and Beadle (4-2), who also finished second to Macht and Harris in the county tournament, are the first Clear Spring players to reach the state tournament in several years.

"I know both of them are just thrilled they're going to states," Blazers coach Lisa Shives said. "They've got the idea that they're just going to give it their best shot and the sky's the limit. This is the icing on the cake. We haven't had anyone go to states from Clear Spring for I'm going to say 10 years."

They get thrown into the fire early, facing River Hill's second-seeded team of Katie Sheliga and Matt Davidson in the first round.

"Both (Blickenstaff and Beadle) are very athletic," Shives said. "Megan especially has a lot of natural talent. Andrew has a great work ethic, he's spent a lot of time working on his game through the summer and fall."

Kretzer and Kurz, who went 4-0 to win the county boys doubles title, finished second in Region I to punch their ticket to states.

"They're happy to have gotten to states," Smithsburg coach Jessie Kretzer said. "Derek is a senior, so it's an excellent opportunity for him. This is the first time he's made it this far. David is a sophomore, and he has a bright future ahead of him. We're preparing them to play their personal best and represent the school and the county well."

They have a tall task in front of them today - Churchill's top-seeded team of Andrew Marcus and Felix Sun.

"Derek has a very strong serve, is very consistent and both boys are equally consistent at baseline and the net," Jessie Kretzer said. "They have all the shots, they don't have a weak area. They're a solid team with solid shots and consistency."

The state semifinals and finals will be held Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

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