Desert Mountain and Catalina Foothills win Division I and II tennis team titles
One dynasty has fallen while another remains on the throne in Arizona high school and girls’ tennis.
Desert Mountain and Catalina Foothills respectively won the AIA Division I and II Men’s and Women’s State Tennis Championships on Saturday at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
The Division I seeded Desert Mountain boys eliminated three-time defending champion (since 2019) and second-seeded Phoenix Brophy Prep, 5-1, to cap an unbeaten season at 18-0 .
This is the Desert Mountain boys’ third state team title since winning back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017.
Brophy Prep finished 16-2, losing twice to Desert Mountain in the regular season.
“It means a lot of things,” Desert Mountain head coach Dan LeFevre said. “I’ve been to nine finals and won five now, so I have a record of final wins with Desert Mountain. They’re probably the best team I’ve ever had. To beat this Brophy team. , it was necessary. “
In the Division I girls category, Chandler Hamilton (16-2) became the two-time tag team finalist in a lost effort to Lady Wolves, 5-2.
Seven was the lucky number for Catalina Foothills’ men’s team. The Falcons (14-1) were the seventh seed in the Division II men’s tournament to beat fifth-seeded Phoenix Paradise Valley, 5-0, for their seventh consecutive state title. Paradise Valley finished their season 15-1.
Catalina Foothills’ women’s team won their third consecutive tag team title, also beating Waddell Canyon View, 5-0. Canyon View ended its season at 14-1.
After the AIA canceled its spring 2020 season due to the pandemic, Catalina Foothills head coach admits dominating in state championships never feels stale.
However, this year’s state title victory was the toughest for his team ever.
“It always feels good and it’s coming back to normal, but it was a lot of adversity to get here,” said Jeffry Bloomberg, head coach of Catalina Foothills. “Everyone started the season late. On our schedule, we couldn’t leave town. (Our Catalina Foothills) the kids all have to provide transportation for every game, including here at the state tournament. We were seeded seventh, and they just dug and I thought they were going to do it. “
The victories for the boys and girls of Catalina Foothills only took an hour in singles, unlike the boys and girls teams of Desert Mountain who took almost three hours to clinch their titles.
Desert Mountain and Brophy were tied 2-2 in Singles Game 4.
After Desert Mountain senior Jonny Auh defeated Brophy’s Hank Brown after Brown retired in the third set of their No.3 game, Wolves second student Trevor Rein beat Hadley Kukla. [7-6 (6), 6-7 (2), 6-4] to seal Desert Mountain’s victory. Rein and Kukla’s match was the last of six in the singles competition.
“I’m happy we were able to win for Johnny, this is his last year,” Rein said of his doubles partner Auh. “It was good to get revenge today.”
Auh and Rein lost to Kukla and Sean O’Gara in the Division I men’s doubles state championship on Monday.
The Desert Mountain girls won against Savanna Kollock, Olivia Kim, Ava Koenig and Analise Wachtel in singles matches # 1, 3, 4 and 5. Ana Badulescu and Sophia Reitano from Hamilton won our singles matches. 2 and 6, forcing the team to play in doubles with a score of 4-2.
Wachtel facing his opponent Esther Qiu on the No. 5 pitch was the decisive match that forced the team to play in doubles.
Qiu and Wachtel suffered from leg cramps during the match, but they continued without withdrawing.
Wachtel lost the first set and then won the second and third, making the team score, 1-3, until she came back to win in the last set of her match to win [6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4]. This helped Desert Mountain come back and win as Kollock and Koenig beat Hamilton’s Victoria Milionis and Nidhi Pulicheria, 8-0, to secure the victory.
“It was really satisfying because I was down 1-3 in the last set, but I knew it was really important to win the game, to win the whole state tournament,” said Wachtel. “It gave me a little extra energy.”
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