NWD Girl's Tennis

Posted: May 18, 2013
By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI

FRONT ROYAL — Different year. Same story.

After dropping just one game in singles and two in doubles in taking the Northwestern District singles and doubles crowns last year, Jessie Nolan and Kathryn Bock served up nothing but bagels at this year’s tournament finals Friday at Skyline High School.

Nolan defeated Skyline’s Presley Rutherford 6-0, 6-0 in the singles final to repeat as singles champion.

And in the Group AA defending state doubles champions’ fourth match together this year, Nolan and Bock beat James Wood’s Fae Schweitzer and Ashley Hillyard 6-0, 6-0 in the doubles final. It’s the third straight year that Nolan and Bock have won that title.

Nolan and Bock don’t set out to win matches by shutout. But given their attitude toward their craft, there’s a reason why they keep happening.

“Every match is a tough match, in my eyes,” said Nolan, who improved to 19-0 in singles this year and improved to 4-0 this year while playing with Bock. “Whether it’s your opponent, you’re being hard on yourself, or trying to learn something new.

“It feels good to win 0 and 0, but at the same time it really doesn’t matter what the score is. We’re always out there working hard.”

That was clear Friday. Nolan needed just 32 minutes to put away Rutherford — making it a point to make sure her serve, which had been off of late, was effective — and Handley beat James Wood in similarly quick fashion.

And even when it would have been easy to just relent and look ahead to the next game, Handley didn’t. Up 5-0 in the first set but down 0-40 in the sixth game with Nolan serving, the Judges proceeded to win the next five points to take the first set against James Wood.

“I love having Kathryn Bock back,” said Nolan (before Thursday, they hadn’t played together since April 13 because of Bock’s biceps tendonitis). “It’s great to play doubles with her again, and I have high hopes.”

Though the duo is used to compiling championships, Bock said it never gets old.

“It’s always exciting to win and say you’re a champion,” she said.

“The most exciting part of being a champion is coming back and proving it time and again,” Nolan said. “We come out here and give it our all.”

James Wood’s doubles tandem, seeded third, certainly did that to reach Friday’s final. Schweitzer and Hillyard beat No. 2 Skyline 7-6 (7-2), 1-6, 6-4 in Thursday’s semifinals.

James Wood’s winning point came on a point when Schweitzer twisted her knee hitting a winner. Given that she needed ice immediately to treat it, she was glad she didn’t have to go on.

“I was so happy we were done,” Schweitzer said. “I was glad we didn’t have anything to do after that, because I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

They are glad though they get to keep playing. Along with the other singles and doubles finalists Friday, James Wood will compete in the Region II individual tournament at Fauquier May 28-29.

“I’m so excited,” Hillyard said. “It’s really nice.”

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on Twitter @WinStarSports1

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