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Tennis Notebook

Schneider Looks to Be Unemotional

By Dan Bowman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page LZ14

Stone Bridge No. 1 boys' tennis player Dan Schneider hopes to maintain an even temperament during his rematch tomorrow with Loudoun Valley's Matt Vaughn -- the Dulles District's top player. The last time the two played, at Loudoun Valley on April 12, Vaughn (8-0) handed Schneider (6-1) his only loss of the season, 10-6.

"Last time, my emotions got the better of me," Schneider said. "I think I got up by two or three points early, but he broke back, and I had a mental breakdown. Out of frustration I just got sloppy."

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Bulldogs Coach Brian Whitmore pointed to Vaughn's consistency and ability to not make mistakes as a key in the last match.

"It's a shame either of them had to lose," Whitmore said. "Matt hit a lot of good passing shots when Dan came to the net, so I think it wasn't so much a game of unforced errors as it was a game of good shots."

Vikings Coach Steve Cohen did not want to put too much emphasis on one or two matches.

"It's a big match, no question, but I think Matt is more focused on the bigger picture," Cohen said. "Winning the district and the region are his long-term goals."

For Schneider, having the home-court advantage this time could make a difference.

"Anytime I play at home I feel more confident," he said. "I feel like I have to defend it."

Loudoun County Is Team to Beat

The Loudoun County girls again appear the team to beat in the Dulles District. The Raiders, who have appeared in the past three AA state championship matches, are off to a 6-0 start this season.

"We've definitely started a tradition here," Loudoun County Coach Randy Hanger said. "A lot of the players I have coming out are all sisters of successful players I've had in the past. Word just gets around, and everything grows from there."

Despite the Raiders' dominance so far -- Loudoun County has beaten its opponents by a combined score of 47-7 this season -- Hanger says he isn't taking any team for granted.

"There's a lot of parody in this district," Hanger said. "Loudoun Valley, Stone Bridge and Heritage are all right there."

Valley in particular has been difficult for Loudoun County the past few years, Hanger said. The Raiders and the Vikings (6-2) had their match Thursday postponed because of bad weather.

"It's usually really close with Valley," Hanger said. "They have helped make us into a stronger team."

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