The 5A division of girls tennis at this year’s high school state championships had a familiar look. Actually, it was a re-wind of last year.
Kelsey Lawson in 5A-I brought the singles title back to Corona del Sol High School, while Priscilla Annoual from Pinnacle HS won the 5A-II crown. Both were singles champions last year.
Lawson had to get it together quickly. Down 5-6 in the first set, she managed to come back from a 40-0 hole and go on to win the set and, eventually, the match, 7-5, 6-1, against Erica Medlin from Mesquite HS in Gilbert.
Annoual had to face Emily Harris again this year for the title. It didn’t seem to be a factor, as she won handily, beating the sophomore from Desert Mountain HS in Scottsdale, 6-0, 6-2.
On the boys’ side, Ahmad Saleem from Desert Vista HS and Mitch McDaniels from Salpointe Catholic in Tucson battled for two hours in windy conditions that made many shots unpredictable. McDaniels, who held the top seed in 5A-I, jumped out to a 6-2 win in the first set, and looked ready to roll to the title. But Saleem righted the ship and won the next two matches, 6-2, 6-3.
In 5A-II, James Carr from Marcos de Niza in Tempe went three sets to win the singles title, beating Jeremy Shapiro from Desert Mountain HS, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
The doubles title in 5A-I turned out to be a bittersweet win for Corona del Sol’s tandem of Alex Lawson and Kyle Ogren. Their 6-2, 6-2 victory over Brophy Prep’s Lorenz Laurel and Nolan Bauer was the final high school doubles match for the senior, Ogren. But for Brophy, Ogren’s departure doesn’t come any too soon. Last year Brophy also lost in the finals, again to Lawson and Ogren.
To add a multiplier to the frustration for the Phoenix Jesuit school, Laurel and Bauer were the top seeds in this year’s state tournament. The Brophy doubles team was also a higher seed last year when they fell short of the championship.
Salpointe’s doubles team of Courtney and Lauren Amos had little trouble wrapping up the 5A-I doubles title, 6-0, 6-3, over Amanda Moore and Julia Stosz from Highland HS in Gilbert.