“It was kind of surprising. I was expecting more (from the competition),” Kearney said. “I was surprised I didn’t go even three sets.”
Then she lost just seven games across four sets in the county tournament semifinal and final to repeat as the girls singles champion, before finishing third at the Region I tournament to finish 19-1 this season.
Its no fluke that Kearney isTheHerald-Mail’s 2012 Washington County Girls Tennis Player of the Year.
“When you think about Miranda, she didn’t even play as a freshman. She’s only played three years, so her natural ability and athleticism added to her success,” Blazers coach Lisa Shives said. “It would be hard to find somebody who works harder than Miranda.”
Or somebody who learned the mental side of the game better.
Kearney used her superb defensive skills to frustrate harder-hitting opponents, playing a consistent brand of tennis and either waiting for her foe to make a mistake, or waiting for the right opening to hit a winner.
“I tried to not make many errors, keep the ball in longer,” Kearney said. “I didn’t have to hit every shot hard. A lot of people think they have to hit hard all the time, but I only did when I had the shot. I tried to pull them to the net because I lob good.”
“She’s definitely very coachable and she understands the game,” Shives said. “When you told her something, she’d say, ‘Yeah, I noticed that.’ She always seemed to be a step ahead of me. ... I just think she’s so good because she’s such an athlete, and in tennis, a lot of times that’s what it takes.”
Kearney is joined on the All-County First Team by:
Rose Chiumento, Saint James
Saints senior went 10-2 at No. 2 singles and won the IPSL title at that position.
Sarah Colgan, Boonsboro
Warriors senior teamed with Ashlyn Hawbaker to go 19-1 at No. 1 doubles and win the county tournament title.
Ashlyn Hawbaker, Boonsboro
Warriors senior teamed with Colgan to go 19-1 at No. 1 doubles and win the county tournament title.
Sara Worth Hodges, Saint James
Saints senior went 10-2 at No. 1 singles and won the IPSL title at that position.
Mollie Johnson, North Hagerstown
Hubs senior went 10-7 at No. 1 singles, then teamed with Max Ober to go 8-2 in mixed doubles, winning county and Region I titles and finishing fourth at the Maryland state tournament.
Samantha Kelly, Williamsport
Wildcats senior went 9-4 at No. 1 singles before her tragic death in a car accident in early May.
Miranda Speak, Clear Spring
Blazers senior went 16-3 playing primarily No. 2 singles, finishing second to Kearney at the county tournament.
Boonsboro - Hannah Froehlich. Clear Spring - Jess Barnhart, Dominique Forsman, Cayla Garner, Jamie Humbertson, Samantha Michael, Zoie O’Neal. North Hagerstown - Maddie Dunn, Rachel Greenwald, Brigitte Grewe, Emily Irwin, Ashleigh McCoy, Sam Roberts, Kelli Wright. Saint James - Sarah De Witt, Rida Faridi, Aiman Siddiqui. South Hagerstown - Alisha Adkins. St. Maria Goretti - Lauren Clopper, Ashley Robinson, Laura Winalski. Williamsport - Jess Mies.
Players must have completed at least six matches and have a .500 record or better.
Miranda Kearney, Clear Spring -- 19-1
Sara Worth Hodges, Saint James -- 10-2
Samantha Kelly, Williamsport -- 9-4
Mollie Johnson, North -- 10-7
Hannah Froehlich, Boonsboro -- 10-10
Miranda Speak, Clear Spring -- 16-3
Rose Chiumento, Saint James -- 10-2
Jessica Mies, Williamsport -- 9-4
Maddie Dunn, North -- 11-5
Laura Winalski, Goretti -- 9-6
Lauren Clopper, Goretti -- 8-2
Sarah De Witt, Saint James -- 8-4
Candice Yang, Saint James -- 6-2
Colgan/Hawbaker, Boonsboro -- 19-1
D. Forsman/Garner, Clear Spring -- 5-1
Roberts/Wright, North -- 17-5
Barnhart/Humbertson, Clear Spring -- 11-4
Faridi/Siddiqui, Saint James -- 8-4
D. Forsman/Michael, Clear Spring -- 8-0
Greenwald/Grewe, North -- 13-2
Clopper/Salgado, Goretti -- 6-1
Poling/Shinoda, Boonsboro -- 10-7
Griffith/Kretzer, Smithsburg -- 6-5
Michael/O’Neal, Clear Spring -- 9-2
Irwin/McCoy, North -- 14-5
O’Neal/Pinkham, Clear Spring -- 5-2
Cochran/Divinagracia, Goretti -- 6-3
Beckett/McKelvey, Saint James -- 4-4