Century’s Jack Amerault and Liberty’s Honour Zan faced each other in the Carroll County tennis tournament boys singles finals Monday at Liberty High School, and the match garnered a good deal of attention from spectators and fellow players.
Amerault outlasted Zan on his home court, with many fans hanging on every point, to take the championship 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, and said beating his rival for a third time this spring was a challenge.
Amerault, a junior, defeated Zan 6-1, 6-1 in their regular-season match last week, and bested the sophomore 6-3, 6-2 the first time they played a few weeks ago. A tiebreaker was needed Monday, with both players trying to keep their opponents on the baseline and away from the net for potential easy scoring chances.
“The environment and everything, it was hard to overcome,” said Amerault, who ran his record to 11-0 after winning three tournament matches. “He played really well, he was insane. He played a lot better than we usually played. I wasn’t feeling my serve ... I don’t know, we both played well.”
Amerault said he felt more confident after winning the tiebreaker to capture the first set, which gave him a little momentum to hold off Zan.
“I felt like I was pretty solid after that,” Amerault said.
The singles player earned one of Century’s two county championships. The Knights’ mixed doubles tandem of Danielle DeLawter and Evan DeLawter defeated Westminster’s Amber Manspeaker and Aaron Sorkin 2-6, 6-4, 13-11.
Liberty earned three county titles at this year’s tournament, which began Friday but was delayed because of inclement weather over the weekend.
It was an all-Lions match in the girls doubles final, where Paige Coulson and Madison Haggerty outlasted Kara Bartolowits and Alyssa Vandenberge 6-2, 6-7 (1-6), 10-3. Coulson and Haggerty improved to 11-0 and handed their teammates their first loss of the spring.
Grace Johnson stayed unbeaten by sweeping South Carrol’s Casey Reno 6-2, 6-1. The Liberty senior reached the girls singles final in 2019 and came in second, and said she was more than motivated to improve on that placement this time around.
“I’ve been playing tennis for a very long time,” said Johnson, who is 11-0. “It just feels really good. ... Coming really close and then not having a season last year, it’s just really nice to wrap it up on a good note.”
Also improving to 11-0 were Liberty’s boys doubles duo of Nathan Murphy and Josh Bellows, who beat Manchester Valley’s Jackson Klingenberg and Jacob MacGregor 6-3, 6-2 in the tournament final.
Murphy and Bellows haven’t dropped a set this season, but they said wanting to performing well at the county tourney added a little something extra to the situation.
“You try to go out and have fun, but there’s always pressure,” Murphy said. “You just go out and get the job done.”
Boys singles: Ben Musser (L) d. Grant Johnson (FSK) 6-1, 6-1
Girls singles: Marissa Lauffer (SC) d. Carly Jarkiewicz (MV) 6-3, 6-2
Boys doubles: Connor Neal-Declan McGarry (MV) d. Mark Rolfes-Matt Schuler (C) 6-2, 2-6, 10-8
Girls doubles: Anan Gaur-Madeline Keffer (C) d. Grace Nieman-Madalynn McQuarrie (SC) 6-1, 6-4
Mixed doubles: Jess Ludwig-Stevenson Medlin (WM) d. Jen Sorkin-Ben Dorsey (W) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4
Boys singles: Jack Amerault (C) d. Honour Zan (L) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
Girls singles: Grace Johnson (L) d. Casey Reno (SC) 6-2, 6-1
Boys doubles: Nathan Murphy-Josh Bellows (L) d. Jackson Klingenberg-Jacob MacGregor (MV) 6-3, 6-2
Girls doubles: Paige Coulson-Madison Haggerty (L) d. Kara Bartolowits-Alyssa Vandenberge (L) 6-2, 6-7 (1-6), 10-3
Mixed doubles: Danielle DeLawter-Evan DeLawter (C) d. Amber Manspeaker-Aaron Sorkin (W) 2-6, 6-4, 13-11