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All-County Tennis

June 06, 2007|by MARK KELLER

It wasn't quite Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, but for a local tennis rivalry, it was pretty good.

Smithsburg's David Kurz and Williamsport's Patrick Stahel faced off four times on local tennis courts this season, including a couple of three-set battles in tournaments late in the year.

In the end, Kurz came out on top all four times and earned The Herald-Mail All-Washington County Boys Tennis Player of the Year honor.

Kurz defeated Stahel in straight sets twice during the regular season, but the junior needed three sets to defeat Stahel at the Washington County Tournament.

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"It took a lot to come back after the first set, losing a tiebreaker," Kurz said. "Then we had a break for rain, so it was a really tough final match. I'm just glad it turned out well. It was definitely a goal of mine this year."

The next week, Kurz faced Stahel again in the Maryland Region I Tournament, again winning in three sets.

Kurz fell short of his next goal, however, failing to qualify for the state tournament. Only those who reach the region finals advance to states.

"You know, I was disappointed, but I played a really good player (Middletown's Matt Uchino), played three sets and he deserved it," Kurz said. "Hopefully I'll get another shot to go to states next year."

Williamsport senior Rebekah Coleman is The Herald-Mail All-Washington County Girls Tennis Player of the Year.

Coleman went 14-4 in 2007, winning the Washington County singles title by beating North Hagerstown's Gretchen Schoeck, 6-4, 6-4.

The players split in their two regular-season meetings, with Schoeck winning the first match 6-4, 6-1 and Coleman winning the second, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Unlike Kurz and Stahel, however, there was no opportunity for a fourth meeting. Coleman was unable to play in the regional tournament due to a prior commitment.

Was she disappointed?

"Not really, because I probably would have gotten slaughtered at regionals," Coleman said with a laugh. "But it was great to win the county title. Exhilarating."

Coleman said her season got off to a shaky start, and it wasn't until a week when Williamsport played four matches that things started to turn around.

"I didn't think I could do that well, I didn't really believe in myself," Coleman said. "That week, I was exhausted, but I played really well and started to push myself."

Coleman is attending Duquesne University in the fall to study Journalism, but does not plan on playing tennis competitively.

"If they have a team that's not too serious, maybe intramurals," Coleman said.

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