Tennis: Lake Braddock’s Huang, West Springfield’s Yang win Northern Region singles titles
By Greg Schimmel,
Scott Huang’s shot hit the top of the net, skidded sideways across the white tape and fell back to Huang’s side of the court. The Lake Braddock senior just smiled and shrugged. It was one of the few bounces Thursday that didn’t go his way.
Huang was masterful in the Virginia AAA Northern Region boys’ singles final, earning a 6-2, 6-3 win over McLean’s Nik Padmanabhan indoors at the Arlington YMCA.
The William & Mary recruit remains undefeated this season, and he will be among the favorites in the Virginia AAA state tournament next month.
“This past year has been a really big year for me,” Huang said. “I’ve been playing really well and training every day to get better.”
Huang’s powerful groundstrokes and blazing foot speed proved to be a lethal combination Thursday, as he had the power to control most of the points and the quickness to recover during points when he was put on the defensive.
Padmanabhan had some success with his forehand, but Huang was too steady on the baseline and was never seriously threatened.
“The courts here are really fast so I was just trying to not make any errors,” Huang said. “I just stayed consistent and then tried to take the point when I had the chance to take it.”
In the girls’ final played simultaneously on an adjacent court, undefeated West Springfield junior Morgan Yang used a distinct size advantage to overpower Marshall’s Faby Chaillo, 6-3, 6-3.
Yang kept Chaillo on the defensive with her heavy strokes and Chaillo grew increasingly frustrated as Yang controlled the play.
Chaillo struggled with a back injury that forced her to take a several-minute medical delay early in the second set, and Yang proved to be too strong.
“I knew she is a retriever so I needed to attack,” Yang said. “I just had to constantly be aggressive.”
In the Northern Region boys’ doubles finals, Huang teamed with freshman Alex Nesterovich to beat Chantilly duo Conor Moran and Jeffery Li, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).
Langley’s Sydney Goodson and Kathryn Emery beat Yang and West Springfield teammate Molly Prins, 6-2, 6-3, to win the girls’ doubles championship.
The champions and runners up for the boys’ and girls’ singles and doubles tournaments all qualify for the state tournament.