Lebowitz, Meyerhoeffer win regional doubles title
By Bret Strelow
After watching his two doubles teams square off for the 2A Midwest Regional title, Salisbury tennis coach Chris Myers revealed he had a rooting interest.
He was pulling for a third set.
The top-seeded tandem of Hannah Lebowitz-Kirstin Meyerhoeffer won 6-1, 7-6 (7-1) against the fourth-seeded pairing of Shea Comadoll-Joy Loeblein two weeks after the same teams met in the conference tournament final. Lebowitz-Meyerhoeffer prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in that matchup.
Lebowitz-Meyerhoeffer and Comadoll-Loeblein completed the first three rounds of regional play Saturday, and Comadoll issued a good-natured challenge as she exited the courts following a semifinal win.
"She was taking it upon herself to make sure Hannah and Kirstin knew they were gunning for them and they were going to walk off victorious," Myers said. "They almost did. They played great."
Comadoll-Loeblein led 5-3 in the second set and came within one point of forcing a third. Lebowitz served with her team trailing 5-4, and Comadoll-Loeblein took the first two points. Lebowitz-Meyerhoeffer won three straight, and a backhand volley winner from Loeblein pushed the score to deuce. An error gave Comadoll-Loeblein a set point, but Lebowitz saved it with a winning volley.
A backhand winner from Meyerhoeffer evened the set, and Comadoll held serve for a 6-5 advantage. Meyerhoeffer held at love to force a tiebreaker, and Lebowitz-Meyerhoeffer pulled ahead 4-0.
"We felt really relaxed today," Meyerhoeffer said. "We'd been looking forward to it just because both of our teams are doing really well, and either way I felt like I'd be happy because we're both strong and playing hard."
In the CCC final, Comadoll-Loeblein led 3-1 in the first set and 4-2 in the second set. Lebowitz-Meyerhoeffer won eight of the first nine games Monday, and Comadoll-Loeblein claimed five of the next seven.
"We get there just about to the end and then we just can't get that last point," Comadoll said. "That's the one point we can't get."
Brooke Johnson, Salisbury's fifth state qualifier, also played Monday. She lost 6-1, 6-0 to Ledford's Tiffany Vanhpraseuth in the third-place singles match, and West Lincoln's Laura Baker won 6-4, 5-7, 6-0 against North Stanly's Hannah Herlocker in the championship round.
Lebowitz, the Midwest singles champion as a freshman and sophomore, remained unbeaten in her regional career despite a stern test from two teammates.
"That match was just so close, and I'm glad it was close," Lebowitz said. "Both teams got better in the second set."
2A MW Regional
Hannah Lebowitz-Kirstin Meyerhoeffer (Salisbury) d. Shea Comadoll-Joy Loeblein (Salisbury) 6-1, 7-6 (7-1)
Anne Rinaldo-Claire Rinaldo (East Lincoln) d. Hannah Potter-Brooke Corley (Forest Hills) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
Laura Baker (West Lincoln) d. Hannah Herlocker (North Stanly) 6-4, 5-7, 6-0
Tiffany Vanhpraseuth (Ledford) d. Brooke Johnson (Salisbury) 6-1, 6-0