GLENDALE – A dehydrated Anthony Monestero pulled out a victory on Friday to send No. 3 Palo Verde High School to the Class 4A Division II boys state tennis team finals.
On Saturday at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale, he was called on again.
With his team tied at 4 with fourth-ranked Chandler Seton Catholic, Monestero faced Vincent Lenzi with the state championship on the line.
Lenzi, playing with shin splints in both legs and suffering through several muscle cramps, took the first set 6-2. Monestero then took advantage of Lenzi’s injuries, capturing the next two sets 6-3 and 6-2, giving Palo Verde the 5-4 win and the state crown.
“It just feels really good,” Monestero said. “This is my senior year, and I feel like I’m on top of the world right now.”
The championship is the first boys tennis state title for Palo Verde, which opened in 1963.
“It’s really been nice to play against high-caliber players like that,” Titans coach Dan Ireland said. “Coming in every match, we knew it would be close, so it makes it exciting that way.”
Palo Verde’s Carlos Bermudez, the 4A-II boys state singles champion, had a big day. He helped give his team an early 2-1 lead after he and Matthew Berger won their doubles matches, and Bermudez won his singles match over Dennis Rodgers 6-1, 6-1.