If the Loudoun Valley team of Casey Bartok and Tessa Carrington was rusty entering the Region II tennis tournament, it didn't show in the first set and a half of the girls' doubles final Wednesday.
Bartok and Carrington raced through the first nine games against Loudoun County's Mindy Hsiao and Madison McGuire. And even though the Vikings stumbled slightly in the second set, they still closed out the match for a 6-0, 7-5 victory that earned them a berth in the Virginia AA tournament this week.
"The first set, we played awesome," Bartok said. "We read each other really well . . . and when we're on, we're on."
Said Carrington: "We have good communication, and we know how the other feels when we miss a shot. We understand each other really well. . . . When one of us has a good day, the other does, too."
The Vikings had needed three sets Tuesday to win their quarterfinal match against Warren County's Franzi Laatz and Brooke Napier. It was the first doubles match for Bartok and Carrington in nearly two weeks. They advanced to the final with a straight-set victory over Lee-Staunton's Monica Gray and Lindsay Rupert.
In the final, Bartok and Carrington faced the only team to have defeated them this season -- Hsiao and McGuire. But that setback in March has proved to be the root of the success for the Vikings' duo, Bartok said.
"That actually benefited us," Bartok said. "Losing that match made us stronger as a team. We refocused, and it pulled us together as a doubles team."
Notes: Hsiao also finished as the Region II girls' singles runner-up, falling to Laatz, 6-4, 6-4. . . . Fauquier senior Eddie Glidewell reached the boys' singles final but ran into a familiar foe in Handley's Brad Stillwagon. Glidewell lost to Stillwagon and was denied a trip to the state tournament. Stillwagon, picking up where his brother Matt left off a year ago, won the singles and doubles title after leading Handley to the Region II team title. Brad Stillwagon and Pedro Barbosa defeated Potomac Falls's John Mook and Jimmy Vaeth, 7-5, 7-5, in the doubles final.