There’s an old adage high school sports coaches like to use in regards to assessing early performance of their respective teams, referring to a season as “a marathon and not a sprint.” This spring, however, the end line is closer than it has ever been.
Several Howard County tennis teams opened with three matches in three days this week, playing more than a fourth of the regular-season schedule already. The status of a county, region and/or state championship tournament is still up in the air, so coaches and teams have been trying to make the most of the matches in front of them.
TENNIS BOX SCORES (May 12):
Glenelg 3, Reservoir 2
No. 1 singles: Joshua Cai, Re def. Lukas Zukalskis, G (8-2)
No. 2 singles: Daniel Danko, G def. William Tao, Re (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Caleb Taylor and John Masterman, G def. Jared Carino and Haider Hussain, Re (8-6)
No. 2 doubles: Trivikram Battapalli and Yari Armand, Re def. Mitchell Steinberg and Jack FitzGibbons, G (8-6)
No. 3 doubles: Will Sloan and Grady Cronkite, G def. Clark Anglin and Harshil Shah, Re (9-7)
Howard 5, Mt. Hebron 0
No. 1 singles: Andrew Au, Ho def. Guy Scafidi, MH (8-3)
No. 2 singles: Niko Bifsas, Ho def. Jeff Lee, MH (8-4)
No. 1 doubles: Alex Brousseau and Richie Pemberton, Ho def. Abishay Reddy and Andrew Lee, MH (8-5)
No. 2 doubles: Savvas Bifsas and Tyson Nguyen, Ho def. Mason Doan and Sion Matthew, MH (8-5)
No. 3 doubles: Jeff Harvey and Charlie Veihmeyer, Ho def. Jack Lovas and Ethan Doan, MH (8-2)
Marriotts Ridge 5, Long Reach 0
No. 1 singles: Alex Wang, MR def. Praise Apanisile, LR (8-3)
No. 2 singles: Pedro Arantes Gabriel, MR def. Joel Pollack, LR (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Shreyas Rath and Ethan Bernstein, MR def. Ben Greenberg and Josh Eom, LR (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Arnav Srivastava and Colin Wang, MR def. Chris Lopez and Chris Shin, LR (8-2)
No. 3 doubles: Aaryan Jadhav and Hamin Kim, MR (win by default)
Atholton 5, Wilde Lake 0
No. 1 singles: Daniel Etcheberrigarary, A def. Hughes Charles, WL (8-6)
No. 2 singles: Atholton (win by forfeit)
No. 1 doubles: Alex Nguyen and David Szympruch, A def. Desmond Adeyemi and Dan Asgedom, WL (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Steven Tzeng and Anthony Zhou, A def. Matthew Batmonth and Noah Begley, WL (8-2)
No. 3 doubles: Nico Taber and Aidan Whalen, A def. Sovanmonifer Ek and Jonathan Monah, WL (8-0)
River Hill 4, Centennial 1
No. 1 singles: Alex Artazov, RH def. Vijay Jagarapu, C (8-1)
No. 2 singles: Sebastien Lair, RH def. Keshav Ganapathy, C (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Danny Ho and Ryan Huang, C def. Zach Lee and Ibrahim Khan, RH (9-8, 10-6)
No. 2 doubles: Jai Khanna and Aaron Liebskind, RH def. Tyler Lin and Julian Whang, C (8-5)
No. 3 doubles: Vraj Patel and Ansh Sawhney, RH def. Michael He and Charlie Lu, C (9-7)
Reservoir 4, Glenelg 1
No. 1 singles: Grace Tao, Re def. Ava Stamatakis, G (8-3)
No. 2 singles: Alanna Ro, Re def. Rukmuni Gaddam, G (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Ally Abruscato and Kousalya Gaddam, G def. Kayla Ou and Gia Santos, Re (8-2)
No. 2 doubles: Alyssa Lee and Lexi Lee, Re def. Arianna Modeli and Kate Kim, G (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Karen Yhim and Kaitlyn Ro, Re def. Akshitaa Jay and Ashley Kim, G (8-2)
Howard 3, Mt. Hebron 2
No. 1 singles: Trinetra Vijayakumar, MH def. Varsha Kantheli, Ho (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Bonnie Vess, MH def. Medha Hegde, Ho (8-2)
No. 1 doubles: Corrine Chau and Viola Yu, Ho def. Shrinidia Abbadi and Shrivani Varia, MH (8-2)
No. 2 doubles: Presley Caroland and Marina Kim, Ho def. Julia Kimack and Mira Tadimalla, MH (9-7)
No. 3 doubles: Shannon Clifford and Amelia Krieg, Ho def. Sophie Kreyling and Harini Devireddy, MH (8-4)
Marriotts Ridge 5, Long Reach 0
No. 1 singles: Anna Ottman, MR def. Sanye Thorne, LR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Gabby Tseytlin, MR def. Avery Yelton, LR (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Charita Sandoze and Hashini Amarasinghe, MR def. Madison Lee and Preethi Narayanan, LR (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Vinita Badugu and Rishika Bandi, MR def. Zion Par and Brianna Burford, LR (8-0)
No. 3 doubles: Megan Wagner and Anika Herath, MR def. Kaitlin Johnson and Skylar Owens, LR (8-0)
Atholton 4, Wilde Lake 1
No. 1 singles: Jessica Zhou, A def. Kristina Staussi, WL (8-1)
No. 2 singles: Sajana Vigna-McLaughlin, WL def. Jen Chiang, A (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Lexi Nguyen and Niki Patel, A def. Johanna Shin and N/A (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Talia Brown and Rissha Remy, A def. Kate Kulesza and Sarah Haghigat, WL (8-2)
No. 3 doubles: Alisa Hira and Eulalia Voo, A def. Madison Hays and Makeala Maines, WL (8-2)
River Hill 3, Centennial 2
No. 1 singles: Rose Huang, C def. Adelaide Houston, RH (8-2)
No. 2 singles: Michelle Fradlin, C def. Defne Demirekler, RH (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Siri Jale and Priyanka Ramulu, RH def. Audry Oaksmith and Sarika Kapadia, C (8-2)
No. 2 doubles: Riya Patel and Elinor Tu, RH def. Joanna Blackman and Shriya Reddy, C (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Rebecca Ni and Ella Jiao, RH def. Sarah Blackman and Yunah Kwon, C (8-5)
Here’s a snapshot look at the area teams so far and their outlook for the season:
Coach: Wendy Heger
Top girls players: Seniors Jen Chiang, Lexi Nguyen and Niki Patel; sophomore Jessica Zhou.
Top boys players: Seniors Daniel Etcheberrigarary and Alex Nguyen; juniors Nathan Nguyen and David Szympruch; freshman Jason Lilly.
First serve: “We are a developing team with a lot of heart and very hard-working players. Our goals for this year are to be flexible and to grow as a team. We have some very good developing players and an amazing group overall who want to improve and encourage each other. We are very excited to see growth over this very short season.” — coach Wendy Heger
Coach: Erin Parisi
Top girls players: Seniors Audrey Oaksmith and Shreya Vallimanalan; junior Rose Huang; freshman Michelle Fradlin.
Top boys players: Senior Keshav Ganapathy; juniors Danny Ho and Ryan Huang; freshman Vijay Jagarapu.
First serve: “We are looking forward to playing some competitive tennis and getting back on the courts after missing last season.” — coach Erin Parisi
Coach: Jenn Shepard
Top girls players: Senior Allison Abruscato; junior Kousalya Gaddam; sophomore Ava Stamatakis.
Top boys players: Senior Caleb Taylor; junior Daniel Danko; freshman Lukas Zakalskis.
First serve: “The boys squad has good depth this year with strong doubles and singles players. The goals for the boys squad include ending the season with 60% or greater match wins. The girls squad is in a building year after many of our players graduated in 2020. Our goal is to see growth throughout the season in our numerous freshmen and sophomore players, led by strong leadership of our veteran players Ally and Kousalya.” — coach Jenn Shepard
Coach: Bryan Gieselman
Top girls players: Senior Janel McCray; sophomore Ronia Agyeman; freshman Shivaani Selvan.
Top boys players: Senior Austin Uwimana; sophomore Colin Ward.
First serve: “Expectations for the boys side is to continue to learn and get match experience. Supporting each other and setting each other up in a match is an important focus this year. On the girls side, I hope to see improvement and more match experience this year. We hope to have a strong showing at the top of the lineup.” — coach Bryan Gieselman
Coach: Charles Boling
Top girls players: Junior Presley Caroland; sophomore Corrine Chau.
Top boys players: Senior Niko Bifsas; juniors Andrew Au and Tyson Nguyen; sophomores Savvas Bifsas and Alex Brousseau.
First serve: “The boys team expects to compete for the county crown. The boys have an experienced team that returns seven of eight proposed starters from last year — Blake Tammarro graduated. The girls team is young and rebuilding after a combined 57-12 record over the last four years. Presley Caroland leads the girls, after finishing as a 4A North Regional Doubles Champion her freshman year. Both teams will compete in the difficult 4A East if a state tournament runs.”
Coach: William Flick
Top girls player: Junior Preethi Narayanan.
Top boys player: Junior Praise Apanisile.
First serve: “The boys team has several returning players and should do well. The girls team is young and will working to improve skills throughout the season.” — coach William Flick
Coach: Scott Dingman
Top girls players: Senior Gabby Tseytlin; junior Anna Ottman
Top boys players: Seniors Revanth Bairi and Alex Wang.
First serve: “Both boys and girls teams have depth this year and hopefully this will help us in some tight matches this season. Singles players and doubles teams alike play smart tennis focusing on good court positioning and look to avoid too many unforced errors. Overall, the players are working very well together and are excited to begin some long-overdue match play.” — coach Scott Dingman
Coach: Kevin Hendon
Top girls players: Junior Julia Kimack; freshman Trinetra Vijayakumar.
Top boys players: Juniors Andrew Lee and Guy Scafidi.
First serve: “The boys team is a nice combination of skill strength and experience. They all are highly coachable players that practice and play hard. The girls team is experienced at the top and will lead a team of promising young players. Our expectations for our boys and girls relies most heavily on our singles players and No. 1 doubles teams with very solid teams through the middle of our lineup. If we play like we practice, the dedication and motivation shown should prove to produce a very promising and productive season.” — coach Kevin Hendon
Coach: Christina Hewitt
Top girls players: Senior Samantha Mosley; junior Margaret Kato; freshman Gabriella Kerechanin.
Top boys players: Seniors Jaeden Henry and Joel Pazin; sophomores Naod Asres and Luke Carlson.
First serve: “We are looking forward to this season and happy to be back and playing. I am impressed with their eagerness to improve each and every day. We have a great group of seniors that have worked hard for two years to compete again. But also have a few newcomers that will be tough competitors.” — coach Christina Hewitt
Coach: Carole Ferrante
Top girls players: Seniors Alyssa Lee, Kayla Ou and Grace Tao; freshman Allana Ro.
Top boys players: Seniors Trivikram Battapalli and Yari Armond; juniors Joshua Cai and Edwin Brown.
First serve: “This year we have four-year varsity players leading the way. We are also very excited about the core of young talent joining the team this season. The team is showing a strong desire to learn and develop into a highly competitive group this season.” — coach Carole Ferrante
Coach: Kelley Pfefferkorn
Top girls players: Seniors Siri Jale and Riya Patel; junior Defne Demirekler; freshman Adelaide Houston.
Top boys players: Seniors Ibrahim Khan and Zach Lee; sophomores Alex Artazov and Jai Khanna.
First serve: “This year, the boys team is stacked and any combination of doubles and singles is as strong as the next. The girls team is just as dynamic and despite it being more of a building year (half of the team is new), there is a lot of chemistry among the ladies. Goals for the spring are to have fun, win and play a lot of tennis to make up for our missed season.” — coach Kelley Pfefferkorn
Coach: Jonathan Shaw
Top girls players: Sophomores Kathryn Kulesza, Kristina Staussi and Sajana Vigna-McLaughlin; freshman Johanna Shin.
Top boys players: Senior Maddox Ciesluk; sophomores Desmond Adeyemi, Matthew Batmunkh and Hughes Charles.
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First serve: “Of the 27 players that are on the active roster, 25 are either freshmen or sophomores. Just because we are young, does not mean we are without leadership. Sophomore Sajana Vigna-McLaughlin has taken the reigns for this team as our on and off the court leader. The things we are going to pride ourselves on is building the community and family on the court, growing as young men and young women, and getting our players more real world ready when they leave the program compared to when they entered. Wilde Lake has usually been a bottom tier tennis program. That is all set to change very soon.” — coach Jonathan Shaw