Marriotts Ridge runs away with Region V tennis title

One week after watching Atholton hoist the Howard County Cup for the third consecutive year, the Marriotts Ridge tennis team got its turn in the sun on Saturday at Howard High, as the Mustangs stormed to the Region V title.

Led by freshman girls singles champion Abby Thornton, Marriotts Ridge scored 27 points to easily distance itself from runners up Atholton and River Hill, which finished in a tie for second with 18 points.

Like Thornton, who defeated Centennial's Jazmin Walle in straight sets, Atholton sophomore Matt Sklar followed his county title with a regional title over the same opponent, besting Marriotts Ridge's Cade Buch in straight sets.

Howard's mixed doubles team of Max Balter and Emma Hoesman, and River Hill's boys doubles team of Nick Zhu and Prateek Swamykumar, also won their second titles of the postseason.

Zhu and Swamykumar swept Marriotts Ridge's Christian Tringali and Connor Bivens, while Balter and Hoesman won a dogfight against River Hill's Byron and Rita Hung, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Mt. Hebron's Kiran Pant and Serene Mathew, in girls doubles, was the only regional champion who did not also win a county title. In the regional finals, Pant and Mathew defeated Centennial's Lexi Hackerman and Sara Ho, who upset Atholton's county champions, Margaret Tatum and Erica Lee, in the semifinals.

The top two finishers in each bracket advance to the state tournament this weekend at the University of Maryland.

Top six teams:

1. Marriotts Ridge, 27
2. (tie) Atholton and River Hill, 18
4. Mt. Hebron, 15
5. Centennial, 10
6. Howard, 7

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