From the HCC sports desk:
TUCSON, Ariz.—The Harford women’s tennis team finished in a tie for 26th place out of 33 total teams during its first year at the highly-competitive Division I level of the NJCAA national tournament. The Fighting Owls amassed a total of 4.5 points last week at the Randolph Tennis Center in Tucson to tie Oakland Community College for 26th place.
The No. 3 doubles team of freshman Kate Tiburzi (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and sophomore Julie Strong (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) was the only Harford entry to be seeded, as the duo received a seven seed for its doubles draw.
Tiburzi and Strong did not disappoint as they picked up a first-round win over Vanessa McCall and Maureen Figley from the College of Saint Petersburg. The Owl duo rallied from a 6-4 setback in the first set to win the second set, 6-4 and force a third and final set, which saw Tiburzi and Strong pull out the 6-4 set and match win.
Their luck did not carry over into the round of 16, however, as the No. 3 doubles team fell to Kayla Daughtrey and Claire Massey of Meridian, 6-0, 6-2.
Freshman Courtney Brewer (Street, Md./North Harford) started things off for Harford with a first-round win at No. 3 singles, where she dispatched Jones County’s J.J. Benson, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, before falling to Jacksonsville Florida’s Lara Hijbeek, 6-0, 6-0 in the round of 16.
The only other winner for Harford was the No. 1 doubles team of freshman Ashley Sherinsky (Fallston, Md./Fallston) and sophomore Katrina Tiedeman (Jarrettsville, Md./North Harford), who fell in the main draw, 6-0, 6-0 to Ashlea Baker and Raven Lewis from Temple before downing Elgin’s Sara and Rachel Hegel, 8-6, in the consolation draw.
Tiedeman and Sherinsky would fall in the second round of the back draw, however, as Kalamazoo Valley’s Stephanie Fortney and Courtney Diebold blanked the Owl duo, 8-0.
The Fighting Owls finished the 2008 dual meet season with an undefeated 10-0 record and the overall Region XX championship title and finished in a tie for 26th at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in its first-year competing at the D-I level. Other regional results at the national competition included Hagerstown, which finished 30th with 0.5 points and Cecil which tied for 31st with zero points.