Various moods surrounded the boys and girls singles championships yesterday at the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association tennis tournament at Fort Lincoln.
Joseph Taylor nervously paced behind Court 1 while his son, Andre Taylor of Banneker, beat Eastern junior Kenneth Dancy, 6-4, 6-1. Wilson Coach Spyke Henry sat calmly behind Court 2 reading the newspaper and eating popcorn while two of his players -- juniors Ashleigh Woods and Shima Rayej -- played for the girls crown. Woods won the title, defeating Rayej, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.
"This is what I wanted to see -- high drama. This is fun time," joked Henry, before pointing across the court to Joseph Taylor. "Look at Joe. He's so nervous. He's pacing like there's a baby on the way."
Meanwhile, Andre Taylor delivered. He closed out his match with a confident forehand volley to avenge a 10-8 regular season loss to Dancy.
"I think my mental and physical game was better this time," said Andre Taylor, a junior who went 6-1 at No. 1 singles for the Northeast D.C. school.
Woods, who transferred to Wilson, located in Northwest D.C., from Bullis midway through the current school year, only participated in Wilson's final eight matches. She was undefeated. Woods's overpowering groundstrokes eventually got the best of Rayej, who split time at No. 1 singles with Shelly Delon.
"I was definitely looking forward to this tournament. When I was at Bullis I never won the [Independent School League] tournament, and I think a lot of people doubted my skills," Woods said. "I knew I could redeem myself today."
The North Stafford High School boys lacrosse team got several breaks in the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region final against Albemarle. Unfortunately, the Wolverines could not take advantage.
Senior attack Freddy Schmoyer, who had six goals and two assists, led Albemarle past North Stafford, 18-7, before 250 at Wolverines Stadium. Albemarle will play W.T. Woodson in Fairfax Saturday in the second game of the Virginia Invitational, which ends the season. The Western Albemarle girls will play W.T. Woodson in the opening game.
North Stafford took the early lead as senior midfielder Beau Ballou scored his 50th goal of the season and senior attack Matt Thompson notched his 100th career goal. But led by sophomore attack Jack Murray (three goals, three assists), Albemarle scored seven unanswered goals and led 8-3 midway through the second quarter.
North Stafford got a much-needed break when officials ruled an Albemarle player's stick was illegal and sent him to the penalty box for three minutes without release. Despite the one-man advantage, the Wolverines failed to score.
"We took some poor shots," said North Stafford Coach Bill Ayres of his team's failure to score during the penalty. "And I think that's when some of the frustration and desperation started to set in."
Albemarle improved to 12-4. North Stafford finished the season 16-1.
Special correspondent Greg Brice contributed to this report.