Thursday, July 15, 2004

Doubles championships to feature familiar faces

By Alex Blumer
Enquirer contributor

Experience carried the day at Wednesday's Thomas E. Price Metropolitan doubles semifinals at Lunken Playfield.

Friday's women's championship will feature a rematch of last's year's three-set battle, which was won by this year's top seed of Keri Preng and Angela (Farley) Wilson. Preng and Wilson took out Grace Kammerer and Molly Molony 6-3, 6-4 in one semifinal Wednesday.

Preng-Wilson will be up against Kara Molony-Hussey and her sister Lyndsey, who reached their eighth straight Met doubles final by overcoming Carol Tanner and Dorianna Lofgren 6-2, 6-2.

"It was a pretty intense match," Wilson said of last year's championship win. "I'm sure they're going to be gunning for us, but we've got to defend our title."

Tanner coached both Molonys at the University of Cincinnati.

"I had never played her (Tanner) before," said Lyndsey, who just finished her final season playing for UC. "I knew she was a good doubles player, so I knew they'd be a good team.

"The wind didn't help anyone out there."

The men's doubles title match will feature the top two seeds as well, with No. 1-seeded Jeff Wolf and Dan Kronauge going for their sixth straight crown against Cedric Kauffmann and Brian Nester.

Kauffmann and Nester took out Ryan and Mike McCarthy 6-4, 6-4 in the first semifinal.

Nester is the head pro at Kenwood Country Club, where the McCarthys play.

The first set was tight until Kauffmann and Nester broke Mike McCarthy's serve to go up 5-3.

But the McCarthys came out blasting in the following game to break right back to 4-5.

Kauffmann and Nester were unfazed, though, breaking their serve again to win the set 6-4 and eventually the match.

"There was a little letdown," said Nester of that game, "because you don't get a lot of opportunities against good teams like Ryan and Mike."

"I've got the utmost respect for those two boys," Kauffmann said of the McCarthys. "They're the hardest-working guys in the area."

Veteran savvy was on display in the other men's semifinal as well, which Kronauge and Wolf took 6-4, 6-3 from the third-seeded duo of Brian Compton and Brett DeCurtins.

"I knew it was going to be a dogfight," said Kronauge. "We just waited for our opportunities."

That turned out to be the 18-year-old Compton's service games, as Kronauge and Wolf broke him late in both sets to set up the victory.

"He's played in some big matches," said Wolf, "but it makes it an imposing task (to serve in that situation)."

The Met doubles final will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Lunken.

The men's and women's singles quarterfinals are today beginning at 6 p.m.

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