Ober defeated C. Milton Wright’s Bobby Frantz 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the first round to improve his season record to 22-0, but lost to third-seeded Alex Cauneac of Severna Park 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
Herald-Mail Washington County Boys Tennis Player of the Year, closes out his prep career with a 39-2 singles record. He also went 8-2 in mixed doubles last year, when he teamed with Mollie Johnson to finish fourth at the state tournament.
Much like he did in his Region I championship victory over Urbana’s Edward Yoon last weekend, Ober attacked Frantz’s backhand and charged to the net whenever possible.
“He hit a lot of topspin and a lot of good shots that put me on my heels, but I used some lobs and some passing shots to really frustrate him,” Ober said. “The wind was a key factor. I really used it to my advantage for lobs and angles down the line.”
“(Frantz) was a good player,” Hubs coach Kevin Reynolds said. “It was a close match and Max was able to pull it out.”
But Cauneac’s powerful serve and forehand proved to be too much in the quarterfinals.
“I’ve never seen a serve that hard before,” Ober said. “I tried my best. I won some points off it but I didn’t put them together at crucial moments to break him, so that hurt me. ... That’s the first time somebody hit winners on me that I couldn’t even try for.”
“I’d guess his first serve was about 120 (mph),” Reynolds said. “He gave it his all, chasing every ball down, even when he was down 5-1, 40-love.”
Clear Spring’s mixed doubles team of Corey McClure and Cayla Garner wound up with the worst possible draw, facing top-seeded Michael Gauch and Catie Gouch of Churchill in the first round. The result was a 6-1, 6-1 setback for the Washington County champions and Region I runners-up.
“They did everything they could do today,” Blazers coach Lisa Shives said. “It wasn’t like they didn’t play well.”
McClure and Garner were teamed up for the postseason after each had successful No. 1 singles seasons. Garner was the county’s top girls singles player, going 13-0. McClure went 9-4 for the boys.
“Corey played in the region last year as a mixed doubles player, and with this being Cayla’s first year playing singles, we knew she’d do well in the county but knew the region would be strong, so she had a better shot at going to states in doubles,” Shives said.
— Daniel Kauffman