This final was a perfect matchup.
In a battle of unbeatens, Centennial's Becky Knouse defeated freshman Meghan Cornwall of Annapolis, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6), to win the girls singles title in yesterday's District V tennis championships at Howard High.
The Eagles junior was familiar with Cornwall, as the two have met on six other occasions in United States Tennis Association 16-and-under play. With her latest triumph, Knouse improved her record to 6-1 against Cornwall and 21-0 overall this season.
"I knew she would be consistent, and she never gives up on any shot, so I made an effort to get everything back and to try and move her around," said Knouse, who along with Cornwall advanced to the state tournament Friday and Saturday at Essex Community College.
Knouse's ability to move her opponent all over the court with her slicing backhand helped to throw Cornwall (17-1) off-balance, as she used her powerful forehand to finish off numerous points.
"I tried to be more aggressive near the end of the match, and it worked for a while, but Becky kept drop-shotting me and moved me all over the place," said Cornwall, this year's Anne Arundel County champion.
Becky's sister Stephanie teamed up with Brian Ruppert to win the mixed doubles, as they defeated Mount Hebron's Jason Smith and Jillian Downs, 6-0, 6-3.
Glenelg's duo of Scott Cline and Marguerite Myers missed a chance for third place as they were ousted in the consolation rounds by Arundel's Neely Harris and Matt Durose, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2).
Centennial's top-seeded Dave Allocco and Brett Bunch also earned a trip to the state tourney by finishing in second place. The county boys doubles champs suffered a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 setback to Arundel's third-seeded combo of Jason Kesselman and Andrew Carlson.
Sophomores Sam Booker (Howard) and Keely Alexander (Hammond) placed fourth in the boys and girls singles, respectively, as did the boys doubles team of Dorian Kurz and Mickey Chawla (Mount Hebron).