Prep tennis | Out-of-Door Academy's Maria Ross wins singles state title, teams with Mary Ann Rompf for doubles crown

jdill@bradenton.comApril 18, 2014 

Out-of-Door Academy's Maria Ross, shown during a previous tournament, won the Class 1A overall singles championship and teamed with MaryAnn Rompf to win the overall doubles title Friday in Casselberry. HERALD FILE PHOTO

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Maria Ross collected her first state tennis title Thursday at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

Then the Out-of-Door Academy freshman teamed with Mary Ann Rompf to capture another state crown for the Thunder program.

Ross defeated Westminster Academy's Meredith Courtney, 6-2, 6-3, to win the Class 1A individual singles championship.

It's her first title in three trips to the state tourney, appearing as an individual as a seventh-grader and part of the Thunder's team trip last spring as an eighth-grader.

"It definitely helped having those past two years," Ross said. "Also, I think I've just evolved as a tennis player and that's what really did it."

Ross' day, though, wasn't finished as she partnered with Rompf to take care of Oxbridge Academy's Rachel Bercovitch and Sophia Chavarria, 6-2, 6-1, in the doubles final.

"I couldn't be more pleased," ODA head coach Noel

Dougherty said. "This was kind of a goal in the back of our minds at the beginning of the season. And they were really driven to make this happen. They played just beautiful tennis over the last two days."

By virtue of winning the individual hardware, both will return to the courts Friday to face the No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles champs from the team competition for the overall state championship.

Rompf said their opponents should be tougher, but they'll be up for the challenge.

"I think we have a really good chance at it, and Maria does, too, in singles," Rompf said.

Meanwhile, the Saint Stephen's boys completed their stay at the state tourney after both doubles teams were eliminated shy of winning a state title.

The No. 1 doubles team of Zach Bessette and Brian Berdusco came close when they reached the final and fell to top-seeded Elio Livi and Wyatt Lovera, of Morningside, in a three-set nailbiter.

Livi and Lovera defeated the Falcons duo 6-3, 2-6, 11-9.

Russell Berdusco and Graham Conron were defeated in the semifinals at No. 2 doubles by a score of 6-2, 6-1 at the hands of Marcello Balderrama and Logan Walker, of Morningside.

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