The Chaparral HS boys’ team finally got over the hump at Tuesday’s 5A-II state tennis finals. But the frustration for Xavier Prep in 5A-I continues.
Chaparral won both the boys and girls state tennis titles in commanding fashion in the school’s first year competing in 5A-II.
It’s the first boys’ title since 2001. But the Scottsdale school that has now won six state boys’ titles, has been so close so often. The Firebirds have had to settle for runner-up four times in the last six years.
But not this year.
To break the cycle, the No. 4 seeded Chaparral had to take down the two-time defending champion, Ironwood Ridge HS from Tucson, which they did with relative ease, 5-2. The Firebirds got wins from Billy Pecor, Thomas Pecor, A.J. Stuart, and Jake Allan in the first four singles matches and then wrapped it up with a 10-4 doubles victory by the Pecor brothers.
And top-seeded Xavier, which has won the girls’ title 14 times but not since 2003, have yet another runner-up finish, its second in four years. They couldn’t overcome Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic, the defending champion which has now won four of the last five titles, and fell 5-2.
The Lancers followed the pattern for victory set by the Chaparral boys’ team and took the early lead with four straight singles victories by Courtney Amos, Lauren Amos, Marena McGeorge, and Nicole Whinery.
While Xavier failed to capture its 15th title, its counterpart on the central Phoenix campus, Brophy Prep, did wrap up its 15th with a 5-2 win over Corona del Sol HS in Tempe. The Broncos sewed up the championship when their No. 3 doubles team of Chris Lefky and Chris Salvatore won their match, 10-0.
Corona knows the frustration of a repeat close call. They also lost last year in the finals – again to Brophy.
But the top-seeded Chaparral girls didn’t let history repeat itself. They lost in the finals last year, but weren’t about to let that happen again this year. They dominated play to the extent that they didn’t need to worry about winning in doubles, taking down Millennium HS from Goodyear, 5-1, for the 5A-II title.
Alex Hoffman wrapped up the sixth girls’ title for the Firebirds when she won her No. 5 singles match over Kelsy Hanks, 6-4, 7-5.