Warriors’ Liao, Blazers’ Shives and Keller are champions

Warriors’ Liao, Blazers’ Shives and Keller are champions


Warriors’ Liao, Blazers’ Shives and Keller are champions

Saturday

There wasn’t any jumping up and down in excitement. No falling to the court in elation. No fist pump. Barely even a smile.

For Boonsboro freshman Hunter Liao, the Class 1A boys singles championship match at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club was business as usual. And that business is winning.

“That’s just me,” said Liao after he dispatched Liberty’s Honor Zan 6-0, 6-1 in the final to cap a season in which he went 23-0. In his nine postseason matches covering the county, region and state tournaments, he lost just four of his 112 games.

He may not be into celebrating, but Liao — Washington County’s first boys singles state champion since North Hagerstown’s Steve Miguel in 1985 — is satisfied.

Boonsboro's Hunter Liao, left, and Liberty's Honor Zan shake hands after Liao's 6-0, 6-1 victory in the Maryland Class 1A boys singles final.

“I wanted to win states from the beginning and I accomplished that goal,” he said. “I think I played pretty well in each of my matches and had a good season.”

“It’s been 37 years since (the county has) had a boys singles state champion, so (Liao) coming in with this kind of level talent-wise, it was going to be pretty awesome tennis,” said Boonsboro coach Brian Myers. “The high level of tennis was always there. The difference was when he played some higher-level opponents — North, Middletown, Oakdale in a scrimage — when the competition went up, his level went up as well, and you could see it.”

Liao’s talent was on full display against Zan, who had a big first serve and forehand. But Zan had no answer for the combination of power and accuracy Liao displayed.

“My serve and my forehand was the key,” Liao said.

“He played his game and didn’t let (Zan) get into any rhythm,” Myers said.

Clear Spring senior Andrew Keller serves as senior Kayda Shives waits at the net during the Maryland Class 1A mixed doubles final on May 28 at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club.

Clear Spring seniors Kayda Shives and Andrew Keller — who have been friends for much of their childhood days — capped their prep careers with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Pikesville’s Natasha Kravchenko and Maxwell Suchin for the 1A mixed doubles title.

Shives and Keller arrived at the tennis club at the 11:30 am check-in time and had to wait nearly two hours before starting their title match.

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