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1A boys tennis: St. Gregory tops Valley Lutheran for second-straight title

CLICK HERE to see all of Saturday’s Tucson-area state champions, as well as Saturday playoff baseball and softball results

PHOENIX — You might say they were poised for perfection.

St. Gregory’s boys tennis team completed a perfect season Saturday by beating Phoenix Valley Lutheran, 5-0, in the Class 1A championship at Phoenix Tennis Center.

St. Gregory went 15-0 this year to capture its second straight title.

“We definitely knew we had a good chance of bringing home the state title,” St. Gregory’s Jason Huo said after enduring a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over Ben Meyer at No. 1 singles to seal the team title.

“We pulled through at the end. It’s a very gratifying moment for me and my team to win a state title.”

Three of St. Gregory’s wins came against Class 4A and 5A schools — a scheduling tactic coach Mark Swenson intends to continue. St. Gregory’s graduates two players and two sophomores from this year’s team already have two championships.

“I’m hoping they have four before they’re done,” Swenson said. “Our strength is in our depth, and I think we’ll continue to be deep.”

St. Gregory’s Jess Weinstein beat T.J. Mendenhall, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 3 singles. Ryan Shainen beat Ben Bolognini, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 4. Youngwoo Seo beat Joel Kosberg, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 5. Chase Gerwin beat John Watson, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 6.

“I’m really happy with the season, not only with winning the state title, but doing well against the big schools,” Swenson said. “It feels important because we’re among the elite.”

Huo fell behind 6-5 in the second set before forcing a tie-breaker.

“Ben’s got an extremely solid forehand that I’ve got to look out for,” Huo said, adding he felt pressure to win the team’s decisive fifth point when he and teammate Sang Seo were still locked into long matches.

“It makes me really anxious. I had a fear of losing. One of us had to pull it out.”

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