Loyola's players didn't win a set, much less a match, but the opening day of the tennis tournament left coach Rick McClure with a smile on his face.
Loyola and UMBC players gained beneficial experience in the pre-qualifier of the T. Rowe Price National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships that began an eight-day run yesterday at the Suburban Club. All but 11 of the first- and second-round matches were completed before rain halted play at 4:15 p.m. Those will be played today.
"It was all positive," said McClure, in his 17th year at Loyola. "This is an opportunity the kids will never forget. You don't see this caliber of tennis in this area. There are some future pros here."
Loyola's No. 2 women's player, Stephanie Potter, a freshman VTC from Scranton, Pa., was confronted by top pre-qualifier seed Katahian Kocsis of Southern Mississippi and lost, 6-2, 6-0.
"I knew she'd be tough," Potter said. "But it's helpful to play strong girls. It's good experience."
After watching the match and conferring with Potter during changeovers, McClure saw only the positive side of her defeat.
"The score in the first set was 3-2 at one point," McClure said. "Taking two games was wonderful. She was able to play at the other girl's level for a while."
McClure found equally positive things about the drubbings absorbed by his other players -- Kristen McCrossan, Christine Earl, Bridget Madden, Mark Ferguson, Bill Wnek, John Otto and Anthony Carey.
"The kids competed and stepped up to the level of competition here, at least for a while," said McClure, whose women's team is 9-1 this fall and 100-12 in 7 1/2 years. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our kids are basically walk-ons. Most of these out-of-staters are on scholarship."
UMBC junior Tracy Stefan, a Wilde Lake High grad, was eliminated by Marquette freshman Ana Fernandez, 6-1, 6-1.
"She's from Spain and told me she'd only been in this country for three weeks," Stefan said. "She plays on clay courts all the time. It was a great experience for me. I loved it. It was helpful to see how good the competition is in other states, and other countries."
In addition to Stefan, UMBC's losing players were Bobby Hoffman, Fernando Costa, Tim Keller and Hope Miller. Towson State's Eddie Hagens withdrew.
Like McClure, UMBC coach Keith Puryear considered the experience for his players invaluable.
"It gave them exposure to national competition -- kids from schools as far away as San Diego, Boise State, Oklahoma, Tulane," Puryear said. "It's good for this area, too, having the first leg of college tennis' grand slam."
Also, tournament director and Suburban pro Dave Iglehart noted, the tournament gives local coaches a chance to make recruiting
Charley Rasheed def. Jim Bove, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4; Pitar Danolic def. Todd Kane, 6-1, 6-0; Greg Zgola def. Trent Tucker, 6-2, 6-3; Damian Ciaccia def. Jeff Jackson, 6-4, 6-0.
Gene Katz def. Antonio Sernate, 6-3, 6-3; Ian Enverga def. David Britt, 6-3, 6-3; Bove def. John Otto, 6-1, 6-2; Rasheed def. Jeff Landau by default; Sebastian Preachat def. Thomas Anderson, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0; Brad Goldberg def. Kai Engelhard, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1; Tyler Jimenez def. Bill Wensk, 6-1, 6-0; Ignacio Perez def. Paul Von Saman, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3; Nate Lipson def. Chris DiCarlo, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0; Daniel Russo def. J.J. Cramer, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1; Danolic def. Murphy Payne, 6-1, 6-1; Kane def. Evan Schwartz, 6-4, 6-1; Ben Wenger def. Pascal Salasca, 6-3, 6-2; Tom Hamilton def. Anthony Carcy, 6-0, 6-0; Hiram Silfa def. Tony Thomas, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2; Joel Silman def. Fernando Costa, 6-1, 7-5; Jason White def. Nils Broering, 6-2, 6-0; Edwin Lewis def. Martin Kajewski, 7-6, 6-3; Juan DeAngelo def. Jay Francis, 6-0, 6-1; Trip Phillips def. Vilmar Silva, 7-5, 6-3; Tony Applewhite def. Tim Keller, 6-3, 6-1; Jeff Baker def. Herman Swart by default; Jackson def. John Frederick 6-1, 6-0; Ciaccia def. J.D. Hall, 6-2, 6-3; Carlos Parra def. Scott Schurlerman, 7-5, 6-1; Jason Parker def. Genun Gunawardhana, 6-3, 6-4; Tucker def. Mark Ferguson, 6-1, 6-2; Zgola def. Brad Simpson.
Julia Mertens def. Rocio Bolanos, 6-1, 6-1; Kriss Poldma def. Morgan Briggs, 6-4, 6-4; Jennifer Logan def. Victoria Sun, 6-3, 6-3; Leanne Gutkin def. Kristen Downing, 6-3, 6-1; Dagmara Mrozek def. Jean-Marie Walker, 6-3, 6-4; Taryn Martin def.
Lindsey Blankensee, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2; Zsuzanda Kocsis def. Karmela Horocek, 6-3, 6-1; Kati Kocsis def. Stephanie Potter, 6-2, 6-0; Clara Salopek def. Dara Bushman, 6-0, 6-0; Ashley Miller def. Katherine Chen, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2; Ana Fernandez def. Tracy Steffan, 6-1, 6-1; Catharina Bernstein def. Summer Redonno, 6-0, 6-1; Michaela Urvayona def. Dina Rodriguez, 6-2, 6-0.