Monthly Archives: April 2012

high schools

Estrella Foothills shines in singles

by Jason Stone

Goodyear Estrella Foothills isn’t known as a tennis school. But Max Schell and Erin Cory are doing their parts to change that.
Winning dual Division III state singles championships just minutes apart Saturday should help that goal.
“Nobody really cares about tennis at our school,” Cory said after winning her second straight singles state championship. “We’re trying.”
Estrella Foothills’ singles sweep highlighted a day of championship action at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center that had promised some high drama.
Schell and Cory posted identical 6-1, 6-1 wins to begin the championship day, Schell over Delaney Harbin of Phoenix Christian and Cory over Kindra Holliday of Miami. The pair has known each other since second grade, and Schell’s mother is Cory’s coach, making the championships even more special for the pair.
Schell won it all in his first year on the team after only playing club previously.
“I wanted the team experience, and it was so much fun,” Schell said.
Alex Lawson of Tempe Corona del Sol won his second straight Division I singles title and fourth state championship overall, defeating third-seeded Nolan Bauer of Scottsdale Chaparral 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“Sometimes you’re not at the top of your game, and I sort of fought thought it,” said the left-handed Lawson, who is bound for Notre Dame this fall.
Tucson Salpointe Catholic’s Courtney Amos rallied from behind to upset top-seed Madison Clark of Phoenix Xavier Prep 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 in the Division I girls singles finals.
Clarke had lost only once all year entering the match and looked to be cruising when she won the first four games of the first set. Plus, Amos was especially vulnerable at that point because she had played a 2 hour, 55 minute semifinal match earlier in the day.
Instead, Amos found a second wind, rallied to win the opening set and then blew past the freshman Clarke, who is the No.1-ranked 16-year-old in the Southwest Region of the U.S.Tennis Association.
“It’s my senior year and I really wanted to win,” the Yale-bound Amos said. “I just thought, ‘Just go for it.'”
Gilbert Campo Verde’s Dominic Patrick successfully defended his boys Division II singles title, defeating Jacob Hedderig of Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 6-1 6-7, 4-3 (retired). Hedderig had to drop out late in the third set because of a left leg cramp.
“It’s always been tough playing him,” Patrick said. “That isn’t the first time there was cramping. We always play hard three-set matches.”
Top-seeded Zaina Sufi of Tucson Catalina Foothills added to her family legacy with her first singles championship in girls Division II, defeating Phoenix Sunnyslope’s Aleeza Kanner 6-1, 6-3. Sufi’s older sister, Hala, won four-straight singles state championships from 2000-2003. Zaina and two other siblings have a total of five doubles state championships as well.
“I lost in the championship my freshman and sophomore years so going out like this is a good feeling,” said Zaina Sufi, who won a doubles title last year.
Boys doubles winners included: Salpointe’s Matt Dunn and Andrew Dunn over beat Hudson Blake and Zach Cihlar of Phoenix Brophy Prep, 6-4, 6-4, in Division I; Griffin Dales and Joshua Hedderig of Cactus Shadows over Alec Petford and Cody Petford of Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge, 6-4, 6-4 in Division II; and Matt Fisher and Jamie Sydnor of Fountain Hills won the Division III title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win over Thatcher’s Brandon McMaster and Ethan Bryce.
Girls doubles winners included: Maggie Cohen and Scarlet Rush of Xavier, who beat Lauren Amos and Claire Baxter of Salpointe in Division I, 6-3, 6-1; Catalina Foothills pair Rachana and Kirtana Bhat over Marissa Baca and Katrina Domingo of Ironwood Ridge, 7-5, 7-5, in Division II; and Leah Stofko and Nicole Bassoff of Phoenix Country Day School, who were 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 winners over Sami Towne and Gabby Courtney of Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian in Division III.

Published at azcentral.com • April 28, 2012