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HCC opens play in national tennis tourney

May 04, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

Youth was served this year on the women's tennis team at Hagerstown Community College.

But despite the fact that seven of its eight players were freshmen, HCC captured the Maryland JuCo Conference championship and the Region XX crown last fall to earn the right to compete in the NJCAA national tournament in Tucson, Ariz., beginning today.

"It was a great season and now we get a chance at the nationals," HCC coach Duc Trieu said recently. "I've been here five years and it was our most successful season."

The Hawks enjoyed a pair of firsts. They won their first Maryland JuCo Conference title in program history and came back to claim their initial Region XX Tournament title.

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HCC, with a strong presence of Washington County talent, finished the regular-season campaign with an 8-1 record -- losing only to Cecil Community College -- but avenged that defeat in the region finals.

"We swept the doubles in the region, that was the difference of the two matches," Trieu said.

Trieu said the trip to the national tournament speaks volumes for the tennis programs in Washington County.

"I've recruited Frederick County and Washington County athletes over the years, but this is the most Washington County athletes I've ever recruited," Trieu said. "They really did a nice job, especially being first-year players at the junior college level."

Twin sisters Tessa and Mia Doyle of Smithsburg High School were the Hawks' Nos. 1 and 2 singles players and their No. 1 doubles team.

The Doyles combined for a doubles win in the region finals, as did the teams of Amber Hendershot and Leah Mellott and Brittany Shadrach and Kaitlyn Beard.

HCC's other singles players are Mellott (Williamsport), Theresa Mills (Clear Spring), Hendershot (Clear Spring), who qualified for nationals last year, and Beard (South Hagerstown).

Mellott and Hendershot form the No. 2 doubles team, and Brittany Shadrach (South Hagerstown) and Beard play at No. 3.

The tournament begins this morning at 7:30 local time and continues through Thursday.

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