Thatcher advances with singles play in Round One

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Derrick Bierman raises his racquet to meet the ball. The Thatcher top seed senior will team up with Carson Beals for the individual tourney first round Friday, April 29. The No. 4 Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals of the team tourney with a 5-1 win over No. 13 Phoenix Veritas Prep on April 27, meeting No. 5 Anthem Prep in Thatcher on May 4.

Thirteen boys set to battle for the state individual meet on Friday

By Raymundo Frasquillo

THATCHER – Five of eight higher seeds advanced to the Division III boys tennis team quarterfinals, following first-round results on April 27.

Three 5-4 upsets posted were by No. 9 Phoenix Basis (8-4 seeding, 6.9584 rating) over No. 8 Gilbert Classical (10-3, 7.1658), No. 10 Saint David (12-2, 6.6711) over No. 7 Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (10-4, 8.2505) and No. 11 Tucson Tanque Verde (8-4, 5.8551) over No. 6 Willcox (13-2, 9.5960).

Advancing to the quarterfinals were No. 1 Phoenix Country Day School, 6-0 over No. 16 Gilbert Christian (8-4, 3.4457); No. 5 Anthem Prep (9-2, 10.5167), 9-0 over No. 12 Yuma Catholic (9-3, 4.7747); and No. 4 Thatcher (11-3, 12.0488), 5-1 over No. 13 Phoenix Veritas Prep (6-4, 4.6737) in the upper bracket.

The lower bracket had No. 3 Scottsdale Prep 5-0 over No. 14 Miami (13-3, 4.5996) and No. 2 Chandler Arizona College Prep 6-0 over No. 15 Tucson Sabino (8-5, 3.9474).

Quarterfinal pairings are No. 9 Phoenix Basis (8-4 seeding, 6.9584 rating) versus No. 1 Phoenix Country Day School (11-0, 19.1031) at Phoenix Tennis Center, No. 5 Anthem Prep (9-2, 10.5167) at No. 4 Thatcher (11-3, 12.0488), No. 11 Tucson Tanque Verde (8-4, 5.8551) vs. No. 3 Scottsdale Prep (10-2, 13.6578) at Phoenix Indian School Park, and No. 10 Saint David (12-2, 6.6711) at No. 2 Chandler Arizona College Prep (13-2, 15.9306) on May 4.

The semifinals (May 6) and final (May 7) are at the Glendale Paseo Racquet Center, 6268 West Thunderbird Road.

Thatcher – 5, Veritas Prep – 1

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Carson Beals eyes the ball into his racquet during a recent outing. The Thatcher senior is entered in the doubles tourney along with Derrick Bierman on Friday, April 29.

The Eagles needed only their singles to play to decide the outcome, winning five of six. Thatcher took the first in three sets and the third through sixth in two sets each. Top seed senior Derrick Bierman won a tie-breaker 10-3 (won first set 6-4, lost second set 0-6) over junior Ian Townsend, No. 3 senior Carson Beals defeated sophomore Michael Torrez (6-0, 6-2), No. 4 junior Hunter Sellers defeated junior Tanner McGeough (6-0, 6-2), No. 5 junior Austin Haynie defeated sophomore Max Kaminski (6-1 twice), and No. 6 sophomore Brock Smith defeated senior Aaron Bill (6-1, 6-2).

Veritas Prep No. 2 junior Ian Townsend downed sophomore Gene Huish 6-2 and 6-4.

Tanque Verde – 5, Willcox – 4

Willcox won two singles and two doubles while Tanque Verde won four singles and a doubles.

The Cochise County boys prevailed with No. 1 sophomore Jacob Kauffman (6-4, 6-1 over sophomore Joel Hetland) and No. 2 senior Ryan McClaine (6-2 twice over junior Brett Lewis) in singles along with No. 1 Kauffman –  McClaine (8-3 over Hetland – Lewis) and No. 2 seniors Hunter Childers – Spencer Allred (8-6 over sophomore Nick Cusson – freshman Jiang Lin) in doubles.

Singles wins by the Pima County boys were by No. 3 Cusson (6-1, 6-4 over Childers), No. 4 sophomore Connor Moore (6-1, 6-0 over Allred), No. 5 Lin (6-2, 6-4 over senior Jonathan Collins), and No. 6 sophomore Charlie Roberts (6-4, 5-7, 10-8 over sophomore Lane Whetten).

The No. 3 Moore – Roberts duo defeated Collins – Whetten 8-6.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jacob Kauffman returns the ball during a recent match. The Willcox sophomore No. 1 seed posted a 15-0 singles mark and is ranked No. 4 in the upcoming meet.

Section I Final Standings, Rankings

The Chris Cook-coached Thatcher Eagles (11-3 seeding, 12.0488 rating) were ranked No. 4 of 42 Division III teams, the John Chapman / Mike Kauffman-coached Willcox Cowboys No. 6 (13-2, 9.5960), the Katie Jones-coached Safford Bulldogs No. 22 (7-9, minus 0.7136), the Brandon Udall-coached Pima Roughriders No. 25 (8-8, minus 1.6332), the Brenda Street-coached Morenci Wildcats No. 28 (4-6, minus 3.3959), the Shannon Kempton-coached Duncan Wildkats No.35 (2-8, minus 9.2749), and the Julie Christensen-coached Benson Bobcats No. 41 (0-14, minus 17.1983).

The final Division III – Section I member standings were Thatcher first (6-0 section), Willcox second (5-1), Safford third (3-3), Pima fourth (3-3), Morenci fifth (3-3), Duncan sixth (1-5), and Benson seventh (0-6).

Thatcher was 63-21 (.750) in singles and 31-11 (.738) in doubles, including three forfeit singles wins and two forfeit doubles wins.

The Eagles had 9-0 wins over Duncan (March 3), Safford, twice (March 8, April 12), Miami (March 22), Pima (March 24), Benson (March 29), and Morenci (April 5); 7-2 over Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (March 2) and Willcox (March 10), and 6-3 over Tucson’s The Gregory School (March 7) and Willcox (March 28).

The losses were 1-8 to Anthem Prep (March 1), 2-7 to Chandler Arizona College Prep (March 25), and 0-9 to Nogales (April 11).

Willcox was 78-12 (.867) in singles and 40-5 (.889) in doubles, including nine forfeit singles wins plus six forfeit doubles wins.

The Cowboys had 9-0 wins over Safford twice (Feb. 24, April 14), Pima twice (March 1, April 12), Duncan twice (March 8, April 11), Benson twice (March 22, April 7), and Morenci twice (March 31, April 19); 8-1 over Tombstone (March 24), 6-3 over Saint David (March 3), and 5-4 over Saint David (April 8).

The losses were 2-7 to Thatcher (March 10) and 3-6 to Thatcher (March 28).

Safford was 35-61 (.365) in singles and 24-24 (.500) in doubles, including four forfeit singles wins, five forfeit losses, one forfeit doubles win, and one forfeit doubles loss.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Leland Thompson tracks the ball after hitting it over the net. The Pima junior was the Roughriders’ No. 1 singles seed and on the No. 1 doubles team.

The Bulldogs had wins of 9-0 over Duncan (March 30) and Benson (March 31); 7-2 over Queen Creek San Tan Foothills (March 9), Tucson Palo Verde Magnet (March 25), and Pima (April 8); and 6-3 over Pima (March 10) and 6-3 over Morenci (March 22).

The losses were 0-9 twice to both Willcox (Feb. 24, April 14) and Thatcher (March 8, April 12), 2-7 twice to Miami (March 3, April 1), 1-8 to Pusch Ridge (April 18) and Saint David (April 18), and 4-5 to Morenci (April 7).

Pima was 46-51 (.468) in singles and 24-23 (.511) in doubles, including three singles forfeit wins, four singles forfeit losses, two doubles forfeit wins, and two doubles forfeit losses.

The Roughriders had a 9-0 win over Duncan (April 19); 8-1 over Benson (April 14); 7-2 over Morenci (March 29), Duncan (March 31), and Miami (April 1); 6-1 over Benson (March 3), 6-2 over Tombstone (April 7), and 6-3 over Tombstone (April 15).

The losses were 0-9 twice to Willcox (March 1, April 12) and once to Thatcher (March 24), 1-8 to Miami (March 25) and Saint David (March 28), 2-7 to Safford (April 8), and 3-6 to Safford (March 10) and Miami (March 25).

Morenci was 23-37 (.383) in singles and 11-19 (.367) in doubles, including a singles forfeit win plus five doubles forfeit wins.

The Wildcats had wins of 8-1 over Duncan (April 14), 6-3 over Duncan (Feb. 28), and 5-4 over Safford (April 7). The losses were 3-6 to Safford (March 22), 2-7 to Pima twice (March 29, April 1), 1-8 to Benson (April 12), and 0-9 to Willcox twice (March 31, April 19), and Thatcher (April 5).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Owen Lunt eyes where he tried placing the returned ball during a recent match. The Pima senior will team up with junior Leland Thompson for the doubles tourney on Friday, April 29.

Duncan was 14-44 (.241) in singles and 4-24 (.143) in doubles, including a forfeit singles win, 12 forfeit singles losses, and eight doubles forfeit losses.

The Wildkats downed Benson 6-1 (March 24) and Patagonia 6-0 (April 15). The losses were 0-9 to Thatcher (March 3), Safford (March 30), Willcox twice (March 8, April 11), and Pima (April 19); 1-8 to Morenci (April 14), 2-7 to Pima (March 31), and 4-5 to Morenci (Feb. 24).

Benson was 10-72 (.122) in singles and 2-38 (.050) in doubles, including 29 singles forfeits and 13 doubles forfeits.

The four Bobcats succumbed 0-9 to Saint David (Feb. 24), Willcox twice (March 22, April 7), Thatcher (March 29), Safford (March 31), and Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (April 6); 1-8 to Tucson Desert Christian (March 1), Tucson Saint Augustine Catholic (March 28), Morenci (April 12), and Pima twice (April 14); 1-6 to Pima (March 3) and Duncan (March 24), and 3-6 to Tombstone (April 4) and Rio Rico (April 13).

Individual Tourney

A total of 13 Section I student-athletes are preparing for the individual state tourney first round on Friday, April 29. The matches are scheduled for 10 a.m. (singles) and 11:30 a.m. (doubles) on at the Glendale Paseo Racquet Center courts.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Ryan McClaine meets the ball as he returns it back over the net. The Willcox senior No. 2 seed went 11-4 during the regular season. He is entered in the singles tourney on Friday, April 29.

In singles, match No. 7 has No. 4 Willcox sophomore Jacob Kauffman (15-0 seeding) versus Pusch Ridge sophomore Daniel Jung (6-6), match No. 11 has Thatcher sophomore Gene Huish (10-4) vs. Gilbert Christian junior Nolan Engel (9-3), and match No. 12 has Willcox senior Ryan McClaine (11-4) vs. No. 6 Tucson’s The Gregory School junior Luke Weather (8-2).

The doubles No. 3 pairing has No. 8 Safford freshman Camden Montierth – sophomore Kody Gluyas (11-5) versus Arizona College Prep sophomores Svar Ajwani – Ani Yellaprag (2-1), Thatcher seniors Derrick Bierman – Carson Beals (5-4) vs. Gilbert Classical juniors Zhibo Zhang – Wyatt Hagemeist (6-7) in match No. 5, Pima junior Leland Thompson – senior Owen Lunt (9-4) vs. No. 3 Phoenix Veritas Prep juniors Ian Townsend – Jack Victor (8-1) in match No. 10, Willcox seniors Hunter Childers – Spencer Allred (11-3) vs. Tucson Sabino senior Lance Markowski – sophomore J.P. Markowski (8-3) in match No. 15, and Thatcher juniors Hunter Sellers – Austin Haynie (6-2) vs. Scottsdale Prep juniors Surya Surandran – Connor Swenson (7-1) in match No. 16.

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