It is not easy to be patient when running around a tennis court in 90-degree heat with a state championship on the line. But that is how Anna Goldstein and Christopher Brown played today.
Goldstein and Brown's patience was rewarded as both won their first Maryland singles titles at Essex Community College. Goldstein, a senior at Wootton, handed Broadneck senior All-Met Jennifer Hellier her first defeat this season, 6-3, 6-3.
Brown, an All-Met freshman at Churchill, recovered from a three-hour morning semifinal match to beat Frederick sophomore Babak Alidoosti, 6-2, 6-1, for the boys title.
Goldstein, who won the Region II singles title in the fall, breezed through the girls draw as the No. 2 seed. She did not lose a game in her first two rounds and cruised past No. 4 Jessie Rybecki of Wicomico, 6-1, 6-3, in today's morning semifinal.
In the afternoon, Goldstein faced Hellier, who was competing in her third straight state final. Goldstein fell behind 2-1, but won four of the next six games to capture the first set 6-3. Goldstein gradually wore down Hellier with powerful and precisely placed groundstrokes in long baseline rallies, and showcased her versatility by effectively closing off the net and taking advantage of short shots.
"I wanted this really bad. I definitely had the attitude to stay out there all day if I had to," said Goldstein, who was a state singles finalist as a sophomore. "I tried to take the pace off the ball and mix it up as much as I could and I came into the net and tried to put a little pressure on her [Hellier] to hit a better shot."
In the boys match, Brown had a grueling semifinal against Severna Park junior Andrew Porter, who won the first set 7-5. Brown took the next two sets, 6-4 and 6-2, and had an hour break before his final match.
"Against Andrew I was going for every shot, but in the final, I knew I had to be consistent and wait for my opportunities," Brown said.
In addition to the girls and boys singles champions, Montgomery County also gained bragging rights to the boys doubles title. Freshman Daniel Min and senior Russell Bryan of Springbrook teamed up to capture their first state title by beating the Churchill tandem of Kyle Hatten and Rob Annis, 6-4, 6-4.
Christopher Brown, Churchill def. Babak Alidoosti, Frederick, 6-2, 6-1.
Anna Goldstein, Wootton def. Jennifer Hellier, Broadneck, 6-3, 6-3.
Daniel Min and Russell Bryan, Springbrook def. Kyle Hatten and Rob Annis, Churchill, 6-4, 6-4.
Brooke Foster and Heather Easter, North Carroll def. Kim Sperling and Bridgett Ruttkay, Walter Johnson, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Brooke Fleetwood and Shan Shariff, Cambridge-South Dorchester def. Briana Jimenez and Stephen Munley, Leonardtown, 6-1, 6-3.