Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association faithful will have to wait for an occasion other than this summer's MATA schedule for a surprise. Familiar names are expected to dominate play.
The favorite, again, in the age 18 boys singles is Jeff Hersh of Rockville. He was ranked first in MATA last year and was an all-America at Duke, where he is on full scholarship. He recently won the MATA men's summer championships.
Billy Schief, also from Rockville, should pose a strong threat if the tendinitis that kept him from playing tennis during his senior year at Walt Whitman High School doesn't flare up. He won the Maryland high school state singles title as a junior.
In the girls 18s, Ellen Rossides of Washington was ranked 16th nationally last year and first in the MATA. She has been selected for the United States Olympic Committee National Sports Festival tennis championship to be held in Baton Rouge the week of July 27 and also was part of the United States Tennis Association contingent at the junior championships of Wimbledon.
Valerie Farmer, ranked first in the 16s last year, won the 18s summer championship last week, 6-2, 6-4, over Emily Kates. Lee Shelburne of Bethesda and Michelle Taylor of Arlington are other contenders in the girls 18s.
Among the boys 16 and under, David Kanstoroom of Potomac, ranked 53rd nationally last year, is a top contender, as are Craig Shelburne of Bethesda, Stephen Miguel of Hagerstown and Greg Finck of Columbia. Kanstoroom, Finck and Nicky White, all members of Four Star Tennis Academy, have qualified for national competition in California in August.
Miguel (No. 5 in MATA) defeated Finck for this year's Maryland high school state title. Kanstoroom, the Maryland state high school tournament's No. 1 seed and winner of the Montgomery County championship, withdrew from the state tournament because of a wrist injury.
Billy Barber of Brandywine, who was ranked No. 1 among the boys 14 and under last year, returns. He finished third in the Maryland state high school tournament.
Jason Pearson of McLean, ranked second in MATA, defeated No. 1-ranked David Grinnan of Richmond last week for the Virginia State 12-and under championship. Pearson has qualified for August's national hardcourt competition in San Diego.
Cindy Barber of Brandywine, who was third in the Maryland high school tournament, and Shelagh Meehan of Bethesda lead the girls 16 and under.
In the girls 14 and under singles, last year's No. 1-ranked Stacey Martin of Upper Marlboro returns. Her stiffest competition should come from Jeri Ingram of Silver Spring, ranked No. 3 last year and winner of the Maryland state high school singles title as a Springbrook freshman. The pair won the MATA doubles championship and shared the No. 1 ranking with Johana Bond and Courtney Mabry, who will move up a division this year.
Kristina Soderquist of Arlington leads the girls 12 and under.
In adult competition, seven local players were ranked in the top 15 in the men's open singles in MATA: Kevin Manning (ranked No. 2, Arlington), David Tremaine (No. 6, Potomac), Tim Keegan (No. 7, Annandale), Mike Geiger (No. 10, Vienna), John Reinhard (No. 12, Rockville), Ray Lake (No. 13, Bethesda) and Bill Stahr (No. 15, Bethesda).
Reinhard won this year's summer championship for men 35 and over.
In the women's open division, eight of the top 15 ranked singles players are local: Anne Geier (No. 1, Silver Spring), Jennifer Stoker (No. 4, Potomac), Simmy Pell (No. 5, District of Columbia), Ann Grubbs (No. 6, District), Amy McNeils (No. 8, Annandale), Sharon Monde (No. 11, Vienna), Jill Bacchieri (No. 12, Reston) and June Ahrendt (No. 14, District).
Gene Russo of Vienna returns as the top-ranked man among singles players 35 and over. His wife Margaret was ranked first nationally in women's singles and doubles.
Geier also was ranked second in the women's 35 singles. Alice Hume of Alexandria and Courtenay Culp of Bethesda were ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Lake was ranked first in the men's 40 and Silver Spring's Harry Hipps was second.
Dewayne Rutledge of Alexandria shared the top ranking in the men's 45 with Paul Caldwell of Richmond.
In team play, Maryland's USTA Adult League women's 4.5-level entry, Columbia, placed fifth in last year's nationals at Boston. LoveSet, Washington's 4.5-level men's league entry, placed second in the nationals. Virginia's 5.0-level women's team, Fairfax R.C., placed fifth in the nationals at Kansas City.