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McDonogh's singles make clean sweep at tourney MSA tennis


Young, confident and talented.

All are accurate descriptions of McDonogh's Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference powerhouse tennis team.

The Eagles (14-2 overall, 11-0 league) had captured their second straight league title -- their sixth in the last seven years -- before sweeping all six singles titles in yesterday's MSA A individual tournament.

McDonogh's champions ended the day with a combined 60-1 conference record. The team's only freshman, No. 3 singles player Nick Colvin (17-0, 13-0), is unbeaten in 38 sets this year.

In the B Conference tournament, Curley crowned No. 2 Bob Schaffer, No. 3 Mike Zeiler and No. 4 Greg Lofus, with Schaffer avenging an earlier 6-3, 6-3 loss to Park School's Jeremy Horelick in a 2 1/2 -hour, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory.

Park, which can tie Curley for the dual-match crown with a win over Poly today, lost all five of yesterday's singles matches. The Bruins' No. 1 Evan Himmelfarb (10-1) suffered his first setback, 6-3, 6-4, to Beth Tfiloh's David Lowenstein, an earlier loser to Himmelfarb.

McDonogh's top singles player, Scott Ackerman (14-3, 13-0), overcame a 4-2 third-set deficit against Calvert Hall's Chris Jones, winning, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, in a 2 1/2 -hour match.

"Coming back from 5-2 to make it 5-5 in the second set made me tired, but I summoned all of my energy to get back in it," said Ackerman, who won last year's No. 6 title. "Really though, I was relaxed the whole time."

Sophomore Craig Shulman (12-2, 9-1) was McDonogh's first champ, taking the No. 6 singles, 6-3, 6-1, over Calvert Hall's Jason Houck. Captain Brian Castleman (17-2, 13-0), the squad's only senior, then repeated as No. 4 singles champ, 6-4, 6-4, over Calvert Hall's Eugene Jang.

Next, No. 5 Ross Cooperman (9-0, 8-0) vanquished Calvert Hall's Matt Disney, 6-3, 6-1, having beaten Disney, 6-0, 6-1, earlier in the year.

"The lower you get on other teams' lineups, the worse their players get," said Colvin, who beat Mount St. Joseph's Brian Deitz for the third time this year, 6-3, 6-2. "Our team usually has too much depth. We're just so solid."

McDonogh's No. 2 player, Andy Robbins (14-3, 13-0), one of the squad's four sophomores, took a tough 7-5, 7-5, victory over Gilman's Randy Michaels, overcoming a 5-4 deficit in the second set.

Lightning postponed the doubles matches until today: Calvert Hall meets Gilman and Curley plays Beth Tfiloh.

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