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Tennis: Whitman wins the Montgomery County boys’ championship

For four consecutive years, Whitman had to watch as Wootton hoisted the Montgomery County boys’ tennis championship plaque. The Vikings had grown tired of it, and on Thursday, their play brought the Patriots’ streak to a halt.

After going undefeated in the regular season, Whitman swept the singles and doubles for 26 points. Wootton finished second with 20 points. The Vikings’ dominance culminated with a victory from Aries Wong over Wootton’s Titas Bera in a slugfest at No. 1 singles that went more than two hours.

Wong let a set point get away with a 5-3 lead in the first set, then had to rally to force a tiebreaker. The Navy commit kept his composure, however, and dominated the second set with a strong forehand for a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 victory.

“To be honest, if I lost that first set I don’t think I would have been able to win the match,” Wong said. “I was really down, especially when I had an easy volley, but I just regrouped, took a deep breath and told myself to keep fighting.”

The Vikings clinched the title during Wong’s match, but the senior stayed sharp to earn his first individual county title.

“It was good to see him stay focused and finish it off as the county champ,” Whitman Coach Jasen Gohn said.

Gohn kept 10 seniors on his 22-man roster, the most he’s ever had in his 11-year tenure at the school, and it paid dividends.

Along with Wong, a senior, winning the No. 1 singles title, the Vikings No. 2 doubles senior tandem of Joey Gumataotao and Simon Amat defeated Churchill’s Mark Dager and Jared Spiegel, 6-1, 6-4, after squeaking by Churchill in three sets in the regular season.

“This meant everything. Before the finals, we said, ‘this is our final year year we have to do it,’ ” Gumataotao said. “We got really pumped, and we’ve never been this pumped before. It’s an amazing feeling.”

In other finals action, Wootton’s Kyryl Tsygura defeated Bethesda-Chevy Chase’s Conor Smyth, 6-3, 6-1, in No. 2 singles, Whitman’s Lucas Schoch knocked off Wootton’s Quinn Phelps, 6-4, 6-2, in No. 4 singles, and in No. 1 doubles, Whitman’s Nathaniel Sherman and Tyler Jacobson defeated Wootton’s Joseph Deng and Jason Liao, 6-4, 6-3.

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