By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2001
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS -- Countryside's quest for its first girls state championship is still alive after a solid opening round at the Class 3A championships at Sanlando Park. The Cougars' top three of Jennifer Dent, Evangelina Soriano and Anatasiya Sokolova reached today's singles finals and helped Countryside earn eight points, two behind leader Fort Lauderdale Aquinas.
Dent and Jennifer Watts also advanced to the semifinals in No. 1 doubles, and Sokolova and Soriano advanced in No. 2 doubles. "We did pretty much what we wanted to do," Countryside coach John Williams said. "I think Angelina and Anatasiya are playing very well. It could very well come down to doubles."
Dent plays Aquinas' Audra Cohen for the No. 1 singles title this morning. That could be a pivotal match if Dent wins.
"I played okay," Dent said. "I didn't know who was going to be here. We've got to keep playing well."
On the boys side, East Lake is tied for second with Aquinas with seven points. Defending state champion Naples Barron Collier is first with 11 points.
Ryan Buchanan played well on the first day. He won two No. 1 singles matches and plays Seth Fogleman of Barron Collier for the title. Adel Naser advanced to the No. 2 final. Buchanan and Naser teamed to win a No. 1 quarterfinal doubles match.
In the individual tournament, Boca Ciega's Tiffanie Kalvoda won 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals over Kissimmee Osceola's Claudia Bolivar. She plays Pensacola's Dana Rickoff in the semifinals.
Kalvoda and Heather Rothrock lost their first-round doubles match 6-2, 6-1.
Seminole's doubles team of Fred Johnson and Scott Forsman won their opener 6-1, 6-2 and play in today's semifinal. Johnson also qualified in singles and defeated Tyler Owens of Mariner 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round before losing to Kris Eline of Richards 6-1, 6-2 in the semis.
JACKSONVILLE -- Clearwater Central Catholic's Haley Dodson and Jimmy McFarland made their first trip to state a memorable one. Dodson, a sophomore, and McFarland, a junior, advanced to the Class 2A individual doubles final before losing 6-1, 6-1 to Gulliver Prep's Rory Heggie and John Grunow at the University of North Florida.
Cardinal Gibbons' Stefan Tell and Matt Cabana later defeated Heggie and Grunow 6-2, 6-1 to win the overall doubles title.
Though neither Dodson nor McFarland advanced in singles, they were CCC's first state qualifiers in at least a decade, coach Scott Kroeger said.
In other action, Tell defeated Heggie 6-3, 6-2 to win the overall boys singles title. Joelle Schwenk of Cardinal Gibbons beat Gulliver Prep's Krystina Lucas 6-4, 6-4 in the overall girls singles final. -- Frank Pastor
TAMPA -- Shorecrest's Kelly Nelson reached the No. 1 individual singles final in Class A at Hillsborough Community College.
Meanwhile, Canterbury's Jon Brett bowed out in the No. 1 individual singles semifinals.
Nelson defeated Laura Ahmes of Sarasota Out of Door Academy 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals before losing 6-1, 6-0 to St. Andrews' Courtney Bergman in the final.
Brett lost 6-0, 6-2 to American Heritage's Josh Burman. -- Steve Lee