Morris, Candeloro finish rally for junior tennis title
Tuesday, August 07, 2012 12:03:26 AM by
By Andy Walter
Delaware State News
They had already come so far.
Jared Morris and his mixed doubles partner, Sarah Candeloro, needed to win six straight games to force a team tie in their Middle States Junior Team Tennis Championship match on Wednesday.
They won the first five games. But now Candeloro and Morris were facing a deciding point against their opponents from the Pittsburgh Polar Bears.
It was all or nothing for Candeloro and Morris, members of the Dover-based Delaware Nightmare squad. They knew it, too.
And, of course, the deciding point lasted — in Candeloro’s estimation — about four minutes.
"That was the longest point, I think, of my life," the Caesar Rodney High girls’ first singles player said with a laugh. "Jared returned the serve and I was at the net, just thinking the whole time, ‘If we don’t win this point, we would have gotten all the way where we needed to be and then lost.’ That would have been a heart-breaker."
Finally, though, with a pretty good-sized crowd of players and parents watching all the drama, a ball kicked off the frame of one of the Polar Bears’ players’ rackets and into the fence. Morris and Candeloro had pulled off the improbable.
"It was a relief," said Candeloro. "But then, when we got off the court, we were told we had to go out and do it again. So it was a moment of extreme happiness and then back to being serious."
The same two doubles teams had to play a 10-point tiebreaker to determine the winner of the team match. This one was a lot less intense, though.
Candeloro and Morris won that, 10-3, to give the Nightmare the hard-earned win.
"We had all the momentum," said Candeloro. "So I think we both just needed to calm down because we were so excited that we had gotten to that point."
When the match, which was played in Mercer County, N.J., was finally over, Candeloro said it felt like she and Morris had really accomplished something special. The Middle States title puts the 18U Nightmare in the USTA Junior Team Nationals, which will be played in South Carolina at the end of October.
The other team members are Hannah Heffernan, Sloan Barton, Nikola Sijan and Colt Williamson.
"A lot of people came on the court and we were hugging and high-fiving everyone," Candeloro said about the scene after the match. "It felt awesome."
Senior Series to honor two
When the Senior League softball World Series gets underway today in Roxana, it will be missing two of its original tournament committee members.
Treasurer George Cahill and committee chairman Gilbert Holt both passed away in the past year.
The two men will be honored during today’s opening ceremonies at Lower Sussex Little League. Two games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. toady with two more at 8 p.m.
"Both men were integral parts of the organization," said tournament director Martin Donovan. "Their knowledge, experience and counsel will be missed as we begin this year’s Series."
Odds & ends
•The Dover community lost Marjorie Martin at the age of 79 this week. She was the mother of four sons, including Renie, who went from Dover to a career as a major league pitcher.
Marjorie Martin, who was seriously injured in a car accident a few months ago, had worked as a secretary and a U.S. Embassy Correspondent in Taipei and Yemen as well as an active member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Dover.
•More than 60 athletes along with 40 volunteers will take part in the second session of the 12th annual Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp Barnes starting on Aug. 11 in Sussex County. This is the second straight year that about 30 high school students are volunteering as counselors for athletes from around the state as they take part in traditional summer camp activities.
•Kevin Charles, the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director, has started his one-year term as the president of the National Federation of State High School Associations. He is the organization’s 53rd president.
Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached at 741-8227 or email@example.com.