Howard County tennis has tough act to follow in 2014

At the beginning of any new sports season, the goal is simple: to improve on last year's results. But for Howard County tennis as a whole, improving on the accomplishments of last spring may be a ludicrously high standard to strive for.

Last year, Howard County crowned two state singles champions — Reservoir senior Biyik Akinshemoyin and Atholton freshman Irene Lu — for the first time in history.

It was also the first time that two players from the same team competed against each other for a state title: Lu defeated sophomore teammate Victoria Kogan for the state championship.

Unfortunately for Howard County public school teams, none of those players will be back.

Akinshemoyin is now playing for UMBC, while Lu and Kogan have stepped away from high school tennis.

So while there are not any defending champions this year, the county tournament could be very exciting.

"This year's favorite as county champion should be Cade (Buch) from Marriotts Ridge, but Atholton and River Hill should have some solid players to challenge him," Howard coach Chip Boling said. "The girls county singles title (is) wide open."

Look for Wilde Lake senior Melissa Barrall, River Hill senior Caitlin Stewart-Moore to compete for the county's top spot, although Marriotts Ridge freshman Abby Thornton is a tournament seasoned player who could take the state by storm the way Lu did last year. River Hill freshman Prateek Swamykumar could challenge Buch for the boys title.

While last year was a year for singles players to shine, this spring might be Howard County's chance to show its power in doubles play: Mt. Hebron's Kiran Pant and Serene Mathew (girls doubles), Atholton's George Mao and Matt Sklar (boys doubles) and Howard's Emma Hoesman and Max Balter (mixed doubles) all have the experience to go deep at the state tournament in late May.

At Wilde Lake, veteran coach Ron Shelton has stepped down after 18 seasons, but he will be replaced by another veteran coach, Ross Hannon, who has coached just about every sport during his time in Howard County.


A look at each Howard County tennis team as we head into the season.


Coach: Michael Ashmead, fourth season

Boys 2013 record: 11-6; Girls 2013 record: 17-0 (county champion). County Cup champion.

Boys singles: Sophomore Matt Sklar and senior George Mao

Girls singles: Elizabeth Sangvic and Erin Nguyen

Boys doubles: Mark Mao and Collin McEwen

Girls doubles: Senior Margaret Tatum and Erica Lee


Coach: Erin Fisher, second season

Boys: 13-3; Girls: 12-4

Boys singles: Junior Anant Mishra and sophomore Andrew Tsai

Girls singles: Freshman Jazmin Walle, sophomore Sara Ho, junior Lexi Hackerman

Boys doubles: Seniors Farhan Bader and Andrew Kendrick

Girls doubles: Senior Ally Schito and junior Gaby Schito


Coach: Christine Gaylor, 15th season

Boys: 9-8; Girls: 7-10

Boys singles: Senior Louis Colangelo and freshman Reece Maiden

Girls singles: Senior Lindsey Mazer and junior Madeline Judd

Boys doubles: Seniors Mitchel Furst and Jack Hayden

Girls doubles: Seniors Clara Wang and Diana Budman; sophomore Sophia Gambino; freshmen Emma Sedlack and Emma Buch


Coach: Omri Kagan, third season

Boys: 3-14; Girls: 4-13

Boys singles: Sophomore Jonathan Gorel and senior Uk Zathang

Girls singles: Seniors Katie Cheuvront and Dayesha Sims

Boys doubles: Seniors Matt Neuman and Chris Rose

Girls doubles: Senior Sherri Green and freshman Taelor Brown


Coach: Chip Boling, seventh season

Boys: 13-4; Girls: 6-11

Boys singles: Seniors Max Balter and Kevin Lopez

Girls singles: Senior Emma Hoesman and junior Natalie Kisak

Boys doubles: Seniors Tommy Jarosz and Jake Frank

Girls doubles: Senior Amber Blackmon; sophomores Kristine Knudson and Natalie White

Long Reach

Coach: Bill Flick, ninth season

Boys: 7-9; Girls: 3-13

Boys singles: Junior Ben Eapen

Boys doubles: Seniors Erick Medina and John Shin; juniors Amrtansh Rastogi and Pa Lung

Girls doubles: Seniors Kate Harkleroad, Melody Tsao and Kara Jordan; junior Amy Huh

Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Scott Dingman, ninth season

Boys: 13-4; Girls: 12-5

Boys singles: Sophomore Cade Buch and Daniel Lee

Girls singles: Freshman Abby Thornton and junior Alana Ravasio

Boys doubles: Seniors Ben Klawson and Jack Weymer; junior Connor Bivens and Christian Tringali

Girls doubles: Anna Kuligowski and Mifra Baqai

Mt. Hebron

Coach: Lisa Vitali, ninth season

Boys: 9-8; Girls: 12-5

Boys singles: Senior Collin Chase and sophomore Rohil Bahri

Girls singles: Junior Stephanie Carroll

Boys doubles: Juniors Corey Wiggs and Anoosh Reddy

Girls doubles: Senior Kiran Pant and junior Serene Mathew

Oakland Mills

Coach: Victoria Knuckles, seventh season

Boys: 1-15; Girls: 0-16

Boys singles: Seniors Jackson Bailey and Kieran Buss

Girls singles: Senior Marjorie Buss and junior Lauren Olson

Boys doubles: Seniors Shawn Roberts and Louie Chaverini

Girls doubles: Senior Debora Frimpong and Sydney Watson


Coach: Karen Wolfe, sixth season

Boys: 2-14; Girls: 4-12

Boys singles: Sophomore Pavan Vemulakonda, Chris Yeh and Richard Do

Girls singles: Senior Gabi Dubovoy and sophomores Amanda Farmer and Madhu Vemulakonda

Boys doubles: Seniors Danny Vazquez and Jon Bui

Girls doubles: Sophomores Kayla Krammes and Giovanna Guarnieri

River Hill

Coach: Jennifer Stoker, fourth season

Boys: 17-0 (county champion); Girls: 14-3

Boys singles: Freshman Prateek Swamykumar and senior Waldo Vazquez

Girls singles: Seniors Caitlin Stewart-Moore; sophomore Amrita Kaur; freshman Snigda Palli

Boys doubles: Senior Sashant Palli and junior Nick Zhu

Girls doubles: Seniors Neha Wadhavkar and Chelsea English

Mixed doubles: Senior Byron Hung and junior Rita Hung

Wilde Lake

Coach: Ross Hannon, first season

Boys: 2-15; Girls: 9-8

Boys singles: Eric Weber and Yan Wang

Girls singles: Senior Melissa Barrall and Julia Duvall

Boys doubles: Marcelo Ramirez and Austin Kim

Girls doubles: Senior Candice Ho and Novella Ogunshina

Glenelg Country

Coach: Dennis Cochran, 12th season

Boys: 9-2, MIAA B Conference finalist

Boys singles: Junior Ryan Lundergan, Chris Jacobs and Skye Basir

Boys doubles: Destan Scott and Cooper Taylor

Copyright © 2018, Howard County Times, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad