Urbana High School No. 1 singles player Ed Yoon saw three things when he looked across the net at Frank Holt Saturday in the final round of the Frederick County Championship tennis tournament held at Baker Park.
A good friend and teammate, Holt was also the only thing standing between Yoon and his first county singles title.
“It's hard [to play each other]. But we know each other so well, we hit against each other every single day so we're familiar with each other's games. I wanted to beat him to prove that I deserved to be the No. 1 player,” Yoon said.
The tournament's top seed in boys singles, Yoon overcame a sluggish start — he failed to close the set out on his serve — to win 6-7 (7-1), 6-2, 6-4. Both players were unbeaten entering Saturday's final.
Yoon's victory also clinched the Hawks overall team win, their first county title in more than six years.
Points are awarded for each win and each round is worth more than the previous one.
Urbana finished with 30 points, putting them ahead of 2011 champion Walkersville in second place. The Lions had 20 points. Tuscarora (16 points), Middletown (12) and Oakdale (11.5) rounded out the top five.
“This season has been great. The title means a lot to me and the team. Everyone on our team was driven to win the county and if we didn't do that, this season would've been a failure, even if we did finish the season undefeated,” Yoon said.
While their male counterparts fell just short Saturday, the Walkersville girls claimed their first county crown since 2009.
The Lions shared the Piedmont Conference title — which they've held since 2008 — with 2007-08 county champion Linganore this spring but set themselves apart over the weekend.
Walkersville finished with 29 points. Second-place Linganore had 22 points. Frederick (19), Tuscarora (16) and Oakdale (10.5) took third through fifth.
“It feels awesome to win [counties] after we worked so hard this season. Girls tennis doesn't always get a lot of attention so it feels good to have this title,” said Julia Ashe, who teamed with Andrea Gough to win the No. 1 girls doubles title against Linganore Saturday.
The top three finishers in each bracket — girls and boys singles, girls and boys doubles and mixed doubles — Saturday qualified for the Region I championship that is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Baker Park.
There the top two finishers advance to the season-ending state tournament at the University of Maryland, College Park during Memorial Day weekend.
Walkersville lived up to its tradition of strong doubles. The Lions boys' No. 1 pair, Tim Anderson and Matt Guyton came back from a first-set loss to win in three sets over Tuscarora twins Tyler and Nathan Homon.
Guyton and Anderson improved to 21-1 this spring.
Oakdale's No. 2 singles player, Michelle Rizk, teamed with Karl Sasse to win the mixed doubles title against Tuscarora.
The Frederick and Tuscarora girls were propelled into the top five off strong performances by No. 1 singles players, freshman Bridget Blowe and junior Ana Chernova.
Blowe's consistency and patience helped her to a straight-set win over the two-time defending champion Chernova.
It was the Tuscarora junior's first loss within the county in three years.
“It's so exciting. I was nervous at first but now I'm just really happy,” Blowe said.