Last year, two state doubles titles were won by Anne Arundel County tennis players, but yesterday the county was shut out in the state tennis tournament at Essex Community College.
Annapolis freshman singles player Meghan Cornwall and the Arundel boys doubles team of Jason Kesselman and Andrew Carlson took home third-place plaques to produce the county's best showings.
Cornwall earned a little revenge in the third-place consolation match by beating Centennial's Becky Knouse, 6-2, 6-2. A week earlier, Knouse had rolled to her 21st straight win without a loss by subduing Cornwall, 6-1, 7-6, in the final of the District V tournament.
"I'd say Meghan did very well for a freshman," said Annapolis coachRichard King. "She was a little nervous today in the semifinals, and by the time she got it going, it was too late. But she shouldn't feel bad at all about losing to the state champion [Julia Kim]."
Kesselman and Carlson, both county and district champs, took third by defeating the Bethesda-Chevy Chase tandem of John Fiege and Joti Rockwell, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. They lost in the semifinals to Whitman's titlists James Legat and Lucas Lipinski, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7.
The Wildcat twosome only played doubles together twice during the regular season before putting together an 11-match winning streak in postseason play.
"We didn't play that much during the season, but we had played together [before the beginning of the season], so we knew each other pretty well," said Carlson, a freshman.
Kesselman, a senior, attributed the team's success to steady, workmanlike play.
"We didn't do anything special, we just played good solid tennis. We weren't as powerful as some of the other teams, but we volleyed well and stuck to the basics," he said.
District and county champ Jay Kimmel of Chesapeake was ousted in the second round on Friday by second-place finisher Dale Cathell of Stephen Decatur (Eastern Shore). He advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Pikesville's Darren Feldman, 6-2, 6-3, and finished the season 21-1.
District V (Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties) finished second in the team standings with 17 points. District II (Montgomery County) took first.