Loudoun County High School sophomore Jack McLister needed less than an hour to swing past Sherando senior Chris Mikus, 6-1, 6-1, in the Region II boys tennis singles final May 29 at Millbrook High School in Winchester.
McLister added the region title to his Dulles District singles crown. He remains undefeated against Group AA opponents this spring.
"The difference the latter part of the season has been his forehand," Raiders coach Randy Hanger said. "He's always had a lot of spin on it, he can really top spin it and get players in trouble. Now, he's been able to flatten it out and is a little more penetrating when he needs to be more aggressive."
Hanger continued with his praise, "Of all the boys I've coached over the last six to eight years, he's the hardest worker I've seen. He plays in a lot of tournaments, he has his own fitness schedule. What is really cool is he's a great team player. He'll hit with the lower seeds trying to help them out."
McLister will carry his momentum into the Virginia AA state singles tournament. He will face the Region I champion in the semifinals June 6 at the Virginia Tech Tennis Center in Blacksburg.
Semifinal matches start at 9 a.m. with the championship match set for noon.
"I feel all the hard work I've done is really paying off now," McLister said. "Ultimately, everything is to get to my goal of playing in the state championship and winning it. That's what I've been trying to do all year and I'm glad to get part of it now."
Raiders fall in doubles
Loudoun County's doubles team of Jack McLister and Bill Bouweiri started strong in their Region II semifinal match against Handley's duo of freshman Parker Wilson and senior Taylor Watts, building a 4-1 lead in the first set.
Undaunted, Wilson and Watts rallied for a 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 victory. The Handley pair would go on to win a three-set match in the final to claim the region title.
McLister and Bouwieri staged a rally of their own in the second set. Trailing 3-1, the Raider duo won four of the next five games to take a 5-4 lead before the Judges won the final three games to close out the match.