Pair helping Catalina Foothills stay in hunt for 5th straight title
Catalina Foothills High School star tennis players Zach Haffor and Dan Hyman agree it’s much better playing on the same team instead of against each other.
After squaring off Saturday for the Class 4A Division I boys singles championship – Haffor won the championship 6-4, 6-3 – the pair are happy to again be playing on the same team.
Haffor and Hyman helped Foothills, the No. 2 seed, to a 5-0 win Tuesday over visiting Phoenix Thunderbird, seeded No. 10, in the quarterfinals of the 4A-I boys tennis team tournament.
“You lose focus on who you are playing anyway and concentrate on what you are doing,” Hyman said.
What the two were doing Tuesday was dominating. The Haffor/Hyman doubles team beat Thunderbird’s Jason Jarvuang and Victor Buencamino 8-0.
Both were easily winning their No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches when the first-to-five team competition was clinched by Catalina Foothills.
The Falcons, in pursuit of their fifth-straight state championship, were up 3-0 after doubles play.
No. 4 singles player Michael Tringali and No. 6 singles player Westin Smith each won in quick 6-0, 6-0 singles matches, giving Foothills the five wins needed to clinch the completion.
Haffor and Hyman, both juniors, usually play as independent players in tournaments around the country. The team aspect of playing at Foothills is welcome.
“I joined the school team because they had so many good players, and we were going to have a great team,” Haffor said. “It’s a lot different but it’s fun.
“You really love the support guys have for each other.”
This year, Foothills is a squad dominated by underclassmen, but the Falcons still have every intention of continuing the school’s championship streak.
“(This team) maybe has the best depth and that’s what wins for you,” said coach Robb Salant, in his 17th season. “It’s definitely been my favorite team to coach.”
Foothills plays No. 3 Prescott at 4 p.m. Friday at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center in the 4A-I semifinals.