An Oct. 29 Sports article misspelled the name of Paul VI Catholic senior tennis player Maria Sotirchos. (Published 11/2/04)

Flint Hill senior Jamie Caplan could not find her rhythm early in the final of the Independent School League AA tennis championship against Kristen Scott of Holton-Arms. She often sprayed her forehands long and her backhand seemed destined for the bottom of the net.

Even worse, when Scott thought she had lost serve in the second game of the match, Caplan reminded her opponent that she hadn't. Scott ultimately held serve and took a commanding 6-3 lead. But Caplan never gave up, eventually grinding out an 11-10 (7-1) victory for the title.

"I figured that I needed to stay in every point and not be the first one to make a mistake," Caplan said. "I needed to work the point. [The victory] feels great. I feel like I worked hard, and it's a good ending."

After the slow start, Caplan (10-2) fought back and stayed within 8-5. She then broke Scott three times en route to tying the match at 10 to send it to a tiebreaker. Caplan broke Scott to take a 2-0 lead and, after yielding a point, reeled off five consecutive points for the match.

"It was a great match," said Scott (9-1). "I was up 6-3 and 8-5, but got a little anxious and nervous, and she started stepping up and playing better. I was struggling with my serve. I had a couple of double faults on crucial points, and it was so close it could have been anybody's game."

Despite the loss, Holton-Arms (7-0) claimed the team title with 30 points, with players in five of the seven final matches. Sammi Leibovitz and Becca Guitman won at No. 3 doubles and Monica Passi won at No. 3 singles to clinch the team championship.

Stone Ridge finished second with 20 points, while Madeira was third with 16.

Sortirchos, Paul VI Win

Paul VI Catholic senior Maria Sortirchos, in pursuit of a third consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference singles title yesterday, began to struggle in her championship match with Holy Cross's Angela Fucillo.

Fucillo had erased Sortirchos's 3-0 lead and was frustrating the reigning champion. With Sortirchos's lead at 7-5 in the 10-game pro set, Panthers Coach Craig Tutt pulled her aside for a pep talk.

"I just went over and told her, 'Hey, this girl came to play today,' " Tutt said. " 'You've got to pick it up.' From that point on she really raised her game and got things done."

Sortirchos finished with a 10-6 victory.

"I just had to keep the ball in play more and just kind of work her around the court a little bit more," Sortirchos said. "I also had to be more aggressive, too, because she was putting too much pressure on me."

Sortirchos's three double-faults in a row by allowed Fucillo to pull within 7-6 and Fucillo won the first two points of the next game. Sortirchos rebounded, however, to win that game and the next two to claim the championship.

"It feels good," Sortirchos said of her third title. "It's good for the team."

The honorable mention All-Met last spring also teamed with Marie Zapolski to win her third career WCAC doubles title. The Panthers won a school-record fourth consecutive team title with 51 points while Holy Cross was second with 17.

"The girls have been working hard over the last few years to accomplish this and make sure they continued their success," Tutt said.

"I worked hard, and it's a good ending," said Flint Hill's Jamie Caplan, volleying in win over Kristen Scott of Holton-Arms.