College Park, MD — After winning both the boys singles and girls singles state titles last year, Howard County will have a smaller footprint on the state tennis landscape in 2014.
Marriotts Ridge freshman Abby Thornton, and River Hill's boys doubles team of Nick Zhu and Prateek Swamykumar were the only entries from Howard County still standing after the first two rounds on Friday.
The semifinals begin Saturday morning at 10 a.m., with the championship and consolation finals scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the University of Maryland tennis courts.
Thornton was slated to play Wootton's Miranda Deng in the semifinals, while Zhu and Swamykumar were tabbed to face Whitman's top-seeded Sean Ngo and Lucas Shoch.
Marriotts Ridge sophomore Cade Buch, the county and regional finalist, defeated Severna Park's Alex Cauneac, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, but fell to Urbana's Sam Safdari in the quarterfinal round. Atholton's county and regional champion, Matt Sklar, also won his opening round match, but lost to Whitman's top-seeded Aries Wong in the quarterfinals.
County and regional finalist Jazmin Walle of Centennial was swept out of the opening round by Whitman's top-seeded Kamille Beischova. Thornton looked strong in making short work of her opponents from South Carroll and Frederick to move onto the semifinals.
Zhu and Swamykumar, who won county and regional titles, look strong in straight-set victories over their J.M. Bennett and Pikesville opponents.
Marriotts Ridge's Christian Tringali and Connor Bivens lost a marathon match in the opening round to Westminster's Derek Meckel and Tate Seibel, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Centennial's Lexi Hackerman and Sarah Ho went down in the opening round, but Mt. Hebron's regional champions — Kiran Pant and Serene Mathew — moved on with a solid win over Liberty before falling to Liberty's Caroline Dangel and Christine Johnson.
Howard's team of Emma Hoesman and Max Balter and River Hill's Rita and Byron Hung made it out of the opening round but lost in the quarterfinals.