Brophy Prep pulled out a grueling, hard-fought win three years ago to defend its Division I boys’ state tennis title against Desert Mountain High School. Then in 2013, Brophy swept Salpointe Catholic, 5-0, for the title, giving Desert Mountain a year to ramp up for another try.
But the Broncos won another title last year, its fifth in six years, again beating a frustrated Desert Mountain squad when the two teams were ranked No. 1 (Brophy) and No. 2 in the state’s top division.
This year the frustration of being a constant bride’s maid finally ended. The Broncos couldn’t hold off the Scottsdale school and Desert Mountain was able to claim its first-ever Division I state tennis championship. Last year’s 5-4 victory for Brophy wasn’t as physically exhausting as that 2012 match, but just as frustrating.
That long, hot duel in the final match of the 2012 finals lasted almost four hours and Brophy’s Alex Curtis was carried off the court after battling through severe leg cramps to down the Wolves with a 7-5 final-set victory. And last year, the Wolves won four of the six singles matches, only to lose all three doubles matches, and the title – the definition of frustration.
This time around, Desert Mountain took the early lead after Adam Oscislawski defeated Zach Cihlar, 6-3, 6-4, in the first singles match. Shortly afterward, the Wolves increased the lead when the doubles team of Jeremy Auh and Cameron Krimbill beat Brophy’s state doubles champions, David Akin and Christian Franco.
Desert Mountain wrapped up a 16-1 season and avenged its loss to Brophy in last year’s finals, turning the tables on the defending state champion that had already beaten the Wolves during the regular season.
On the girls’ side, the defending champion had little trouble holding on to its crown for at least another year.
For Xavier Prep it was a different opponent for the first time in four years… but nearly the same result. The previous three title matches for the Gators were played against Scottsdale’s Chaparral High and, worse yet, each time Xavier won in five straight sets.
But this year it was Mesa’s Mountain View High School that stepped into the ring with the Gators, giving some promise to the idea of ending Xavier’s title run since the Toros narrowly lost to Xavier, 5-4, during the regular season. The new challengers had a little more success than Chaparral had managed, as Madeline Lamoreaux and Bella Cosenza won their singles matches to give the Toros some early optimism.
The Gators were able to get out front early when Madison Clarke beat Anya Lamoreaux, 6-3, 6-1, in the first singles match. Clarke, who won this year’s singles title, came back later to close the door on Mountain View’s upset bid, joining Caroline James in the winning doubles match needed to clinch the title.
In the boys’ competition in Division II and Division III, there was similar success for those trying to hold on to their titles. Catalina Foothills High School successfully defended its crown in Division II, sweeping over Salpointe Catholic, 5-0, to close out an undefeated season. And in Division III, Thatcher held on to its title by edging out Desert Christian, 5-4.
The Catalina Foothills girls’ team, however, wasn’t as successful as their boys. They failed to defend their D-II title, as Arcadia High School, which moves up to D-I play next year, used a 5-1 win to not only claim the title, but to also wrap up a 17-0 record.
And Estrella Foothills High School used a 5-2 victory over Page High School in the D-III finals to claim that school’s first-ever girls’ tennis title.