HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS PLAYOFFS
GLENDALE – Tennis titles and Tucson go hand-in-hand.
The Ironwood Ridge boys and Salpointe girls tennis teams carried on the tradition Tuesday at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center, bringing home championship trophies they can add to their collections back in the Old Pueblo.
Lancers capture seventh crown
Who knew prom could cause so much pain?
Salpointe senior Lillian Bours, laboring through the pain of severely blistered feet she got walking in high heels Sunday night at her school’s prom, beat Tempe Corona del Sol’s Michelle Wellnitz in a marathon 3-hour, 45 minute match that clinched for Salpointe the Class 5A Division I girls tennis state championship.
Bours’ 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 win gave Salpointe a 5-1 win and the program’s seventh state title, including fourth in the past six years.
“It hurt a lot,” Bours said, “but it was worth it.”
The 5-1 team win, according to Salpointe coach Perri Touche, was not a good indication of how close Tuesday’s match was.
“Every match counted today,” Touche said. “I didn’t expect it to be as close as it was. . . Corona was excellent.”
Bours’ victory came on the heels of a wave of momentum which took the team to the finish.
Marillin Beard was the first to win her match for Salpointe, overcoming a first-set loss (1-6) to win out 6-0 and 6-4 over Lauren Hacker.
“That got us going,” Touche said.
Senior Christine Mordaunt won her match soon, after clawing her way to victory, despite obvious fatigue. The win was similar to her grueling singles victory over Phoenix Xavier Prep’s Sarah Serrano in Monday’s semifinals.
Salpointe’s Courtney Amos and Lauren Amos also won their singles matches, allowing the Lancers to avoid having to go into double play in the best-of-nine format.
For Salpointe, the title was the third in four years and fourth in the past six. They’ve also won championships in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Ironwood Ridge boys repeat
The Ironwood Ridge boys tennis team didn’t seem to mind the target on its back all season after winning the 2008 5A-II boys tennis championship.
With a 5-1 win Tuesday over Scottsdale Horizon, the Nighthawks won a second-straight state title and completed the perfect season at 19-0.
“It was different being the front- runner this year and returning a lot of kids,” Ironwood Ridge coach Ryan Bais said, crediting the win to the confidence and experience gained from last year’s title.
Sophomore Dylan Vo kept his cool to defeat the taller and older Adam Waltz (6-3, 2-6, 6-4) for his team’s fifth win, clinching the team title in singles play and, like Salpointe’s girls, avoiding doubles action.
Still, it was the confidence Vo had in his school’s doubles teams that made him relax enough to win his singles match.
“There was no pressure on me at all – we have the doubles state champions,” Vo said, referring to 2008 5A-II doubles champs Timothy Holten and Dillon Kennedy.
Ironwood Ridge will lose lone senior Andrew Vo from this year’s team, but has every intention of trying for a three-peat in 2010.
Salpointe girls tennis titles
2009 Class 5A Division I
2007 Class 5A Division I
2006 Class 5A Division I
2004 Class 5A
1996 Class 5A
1994 Class 5A
1993 Class 5A
Ironwood Ridge boys titles
2009 Class 5A Division II
2008 Class 5A Division II
*The AIA split Class 5A into two divisions for the 2005-06 school year.