The high school tennis career of Allison Daciek ended quietly with a 6-3, 6-0 loss to Glenelg senior Julia Facchina in the quarterfinals of the girls' singles state tournament on Saturday.
Daciek was angry, frustrated and sad that her final match in a Severna Park uniform did not end the way she had hoped, yet the loss did not overshadow her accomplishments at the state tournament, which surpass those of any of the county's current players.
Daciek (22-1) has had a range of experiences at the state event. She has felt the satisfaction of placing third in mixed doubles as a freshman, the elation of winning the doubles title as a sophomore with partner Lindsay Suller and, last year, the disappointment of losing in the first round of the singles tournament.
"It's so sad to see her go after all she's meant to our team as such a great player and as a great teammate," Coach April Pinder said. "Just look at what's she done here since she was a freshman. There's not a lot of players in our county who can say they've done what she has."
Certainly not this year. Daciek, along with the Old Mill mixed doubles team of Kristin King and Scott Mitchell, were the county's only players to win a match at the state tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the University of Maryland.
The rest of the county collectively went 0-8, and only Old Mill's Derek Ralet, the county's boys' singles champion, managed to win a set before losing to Liberty's David Jackson.
King and Mitchell were impressive in their first-round 6-2, 6-1 victory over St. Michael's Katharine Garlock and Brendan Yost but were eliminated in Friday's quarterfinals by eventual champions Jacquie Foelster and Larry Tran of Walter Johnson, 6-2, 6-3.
"I tried to tell the other players in the county how much better the competition is here than what we see during the regular season so they could be prepared," said Daciek, who will play next season for Washington College, a Division III school in Chestertown, Md.
Daciek, the two-time county and Region V champion, struggled against the top-seeded Facchina (27-1), who advanced to the final, where she lost to Churchill's Maggie MacKeever in straight sets.
Facchina, the Howard County and Region III champion, used her strong and accurate groundstrokes to turn points into long rallies, eventually wearing down Daciek.
"She frustrated me out there because she returned everything I hit," Daciek said. "She's a good player, but I should have been more patient."