Richard Montgomery Coach Lou Dobies has been telling friends for months that he plans to resign at the end of the season. After 19 years coaching at the school, he will be going out on top.
Last Thursday, the Rockets (10-2, 7-0 Montgomery Division II) defeated Damascus, 7-0, to clinch the Division II title. Richard Montgomery then upset Division I Wootton, 5-2, Tuesday in its regular season finale.
"I'm going to hang it up and go out a winner," said Dobies, who has coached girls tennis at the school since 1983. "The kids really played great this season. It was a lot of fun . . . but it's time."
Dobies began coaching boys tennis at Richard Montgomery in 1981 and took over the girls program two years later. He has won four division titles with the boys and four with the girls. This season, the feat is more impressive considering he lost his top player, freshman Alana Vandervort, with a stress fracture in her right foot during preseason.
Without Vandervort, Rockets freshman Julia Neyman has posted a 12-0 record at No. 2 singles, including wins over all three Division I opponents she faced.
Richard Montgomery will move up to Division I next season where it will face, among others, Whitman. Monday, the Vikings (12-1, 6-0 Division I) defeated Sherwood, 6-1, to claim their fourth consecutive Division I title.
Led by strong doubles play, the Vikings have won 11 of 13 matches by scores of 6-1 or 7-0 despite having no ranked Mid-Atlantic tournament players on the team. Junior Caryn Harris and sophomore Amy Welsh are 12-1 this season at No. 1 doubles, senior Jennifer Greenwald and sophomore Andrea Lauerman are 11-2 at No. 2 and sophomores Jennifer Lauroesch and Alexandra Kukura are 10-0 at No. 3.
"My first year I had a lot of depth and the hardest part of my job was fighting traffic driving home," third-year Whitman coach Olga Whiteside said. "This time was different. The kids worked very hard."
Northwest (9-4, 7-0) clinched the Division III title last Wednesday with a 5-2 victory over Gaithersburg. "Doubles really held the season for us," Northwest Coach Jackie Bragg said. "If we lost a singles match or two I could always rely on them. There was a huge improvement from last year." . . .
O'Connell is dominating the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference again this season. The Knights (15-0, 13-0 WCAC) hold the area's second-longest winning streak at 47 consecutive matches going into today's regular season finale against Paul VI Catholic and are a combined 86-3 this season in individual singles matches.
Sidwell Friends (68 straight) has the longest current winning streak. . . . All-Met player of the year Katie Ruckert of Madison defeated teammate Mary Kovarik, 6-1, 6-0, yesterday to win the Virginia AAA Northern Region singles title. Ruckert, a junior ranked No. 1 in Mid-Atlantic in the 16- and 18-and-under age groups, is 20-0 this season and has lost just one set.
Ruckert then teamed with Kovarik to defeat defending Virginia AAA doubles champions Laura and Kristen James of Centreville, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, in the Northern Region doubles final. The James sisters have pulled out of the state doubles tournament, which runs Nov. 5-6, because Kristen James will be at a United States Tennis Association training camp in Boston that weekend. They will be replaced by Yorktown's Anouck McCall and Cullen Dirner, who defeated Lake Braddock's Katie Zemitis and Shannon Evenstad, 6-3, 6-3, yesterday for third place.