The biggest headline this year in big-school tennis has to belong to the Mesa Mountain View High School girls, who picked themselves up from a loss in the Division I state finals last year to knock off the team that kept them from that 2015 title – and at the same time broke Xavier Prep‘s four-year reign.
Throughout this season, Mountain View couldn’t be beaten, winning 17 straight matches. As expected, they jumped out to three straight singles’ wins in the state tourney title match and then, after Xavier rallied with a couple of singles wins of their own, clinched the 5-2 win over the Gators when the state doubles champions, Anya and Madeline Lamoreaux, won the first doubles match.
Ironically, when Xavier won the state team title in 2012 with a dominating 5-0 victory over Scottsdale’s Chaparral High School, they were able to break the Firebirds’ string of three straight championships. Now, Mountain View has become the giant-killer and will look to begin its quest for multiple titles.
After that 2012 championship, Xavier and Chaparral would play three more times in the title match, with the Gators winning all three in five straight sets. But this year Mountain View crashed the party and showed why they have been favored all season long to break the Xavier-Chaparral lock on title play.
However, on the boys’ side, there was no stopping last year’s champions from repeating in either Division I or Division II.
Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School won its second straight D-I title by rolling over Chaparral, 5-0, at Paseo Racquet Club in Glendale. The Wolves blew through the tourney undefeated and then won all five singles matches to earn the title without needing help in the doubles. Chase Victor won the opening singles match by beating Ryan Bear, 6-1, 6-0, and Cameron Krimbill closed the door with the final singles victory, winning 6-4, 6-2, over Tripp Dillon.
In D-II, Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson notched its third straight championship by taking down Pusch Ridge High, 5-1. But Pusch Ridge didn’t make it easy for the Falcons.
Catalina’s Michael Lee got things started with a tightly-contested 6-4, 7-5 victory over Shawn Parks, and Connor Oseran claimed the final singles win to seal the title, but had to go three sets before defeating Camron Vick, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
That win was supposed to be the first part of a 1-2 punch that would have mirrored the school’s performance in 2014, when the Falcons took both the boys’ and girls’ team titles.
But Notre Dame Prep had other ideas on the girls’ side. The Scottsdale school was intent on returning to the top of the mountain, where it was in 2011 after winning five straight state titles.
The Saints looked like they were on the way after winning the first singles match when Alexa Cooke won over Abby Watson, 7-5, 6-4. But Halle Zodro tied it up by beating Alyssa Heid, 6-2, 6-1.
As it turned out, it was Heid that rebounded from that loss to secure the win in the closing match of the day. The scores see-sawed after the first couple of singles matches and worked into a tie when Catalina’s Peris Lopez and Talya Rezetko used a three-set doubles victory to tie the match at 4-4.
But Heid joined with Alexandra Lehman to win the final doubles match in a 9-8 tiebreaker to secure the 5-4 win.