Thatcher faces top-ranked Phoenix Country Day in state tennis semifinals on Friday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: The 2022 Thatcher boys tennis team includes, from left, sophomore Brock Smith, sophomore Gene Huish, senior Carson Beals, junior Carter Bryce, junior Hunter Sellers, junior Austin Haynie, junior Brendan Anway, and senior Derrick Bierman. 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 and slipped past No. 5 Anthem Prep 5-4 in Thatcher on May 4. Thatcher faces top-ranked Phoenix Country Day in Glendale for the semifinals on Friday, May 6.

Eagles utilize doubles play to advance

By Raymundo Frasquillo

THATCHER – The top four ranked teams meet for the Division III boys tennis team semifinals on Friday, May 6 following quarterfinal results on May 4.

Top-ranked Phoenix Country Day School (11-0 seeding, 19.1031 rating) meets No. 4 Thatcher (11-3, 12.0488) and No. 2 Chandler Arizona College Prep (13-2, 15.9306) faces No. 3 Scottsdale Prep (10-2, 13.6578) in the semifinals. The matches will be held at the Glendale Paseo Racquet Center, 6268 West Thunderbird Road. The winners meet for the state championship at the same site on Saturday, May 7.

Phoenix Country Day posted 5-0 wins over both No. 16 Gilbert Christian (8-4, 3.4457) in the first round and No. 9 Phoenix Basis (8-4, 6.9584) in the quarterfinals, Thatcher eliminated No. 13 Phoenix Veritas Prep (6-4, 4.6737) 5-1 in the first round and No. 5 Anthem Prep (9-2, 10.5167) 5-4 in the quarterfinals, Arizona College Prep ousted No. 15 Tucson Sabino (8-5, 3.9474) 6-0 in the first round and No. 10 Saint David (12-2, 6.6711) 5-0 in the quarterfinals, and No. 3 Scottsdale Prep downed No. 14 Miami (13-3, 4.5996) 5-0 in the first round and No. 11 Tucson Tanque Verde (8-4, 5.8551) 5-4 in the quarterfinals.

Thatcher – 5, Anthem Prep – 4

Coaches will say, “It matters not how you start, but how you finish.”

The Chris Cook-coached Thatcher Eagles lost their season-opening match at Anthem Prep 1-8 but prevailed 5-4 in the home quarterfinal round match on May 4. They keep their goal of a state championship alive, falling 4-5 to No. 2 Scottsdale Prep in the 2021 semifinals as No. 3, and having a three-year line-up denied a chance for the 2020 title by a global health crisis.

Thatcher used its doubles play to decide the outcome, winning two of three, after the teams split three of six singles pairings. Both teams posted a 10-8 tie-breaker as well as a 6-4 double-set triumph.

It was No. 2 juniors Hunter Sellers – Austin Haynie (8-3 over seniors Ian Storjohann – Dylan Hall) and No. 3 sophomore Gene Huish – junior Carter Bryce (8-5 over sophomores Troy Renkas – Sam Holt) winning doubles pairings.

The Graham County boys took singles No. 3 senior Carson Beals (3-6, 6-1, 10-8 over Storjohann), No. 4 Sellers (6-1, 6-2 over sophomore Ryan Quirk), and No. 5 Haynie (6-4 twice over Kalum Fischer).

Anthem Prep won singles No. 1 senior John Rodriguez (2-6, 6-1, 10-8 over senior Derrick Bierman), No. 2 junior Ryan Anderson (6-0, 6-1 over Huish), and No. 6 junior Justin Roe (6-4 twice over sophomore Brock Smith) as well as doubles No. 1 Rodriguez – Anderson (9-7 over Bierman – Beals).

In Thatcher’s season-opening 1-8 road loss to Anthem Prep on March 1, the No. 3 sophomore Brock Smith – junior Brenden Anway duo posted the lone win (8-0 over Renkas – Holt).

Anthem Prep swept the singles, No. 1 Rodriguez (6-0, 6-3 over Bierman), No. 2 Anderson (6-0 twice over Anway), No. 3 Storjohann (6-3, 4-6, 10-6 over Beals), No. 4 Quirk (0-6, 6-0, 10-8 over Huish), No. 5 Fischer (2-6, 7-5, 10-4 over Haynie), and No. 6 Hall (2-6, 6-2, 10-8).

It also won the No. 1 Rodriguez – Anderson (8-0 over Bierman – Beals) and No. 2 Storjohann – junior Justin Roe (8-6 over Huish – Haynie) doubles pairings.

Girls Team Tourney

Three of the top four ranked girls’ teams are in the semifinals Friday, May 6.

Top-ranked Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (14-0 seeding, 20.2186 rating) was upset 5-4 by No. 8 Chandler Prep (11-3, 10.0250) on May 3 and faces No. 4 Scottsdale Prep (10-2, 12.4096) while No. 2 Phoenix Country Day School (11-0, 19.085) meets No. 3 Arizona College Prep (13-1, 17.3934).

Chandler Prep No. 8 Chandler Prep defeated No. 9 Tombstone (14-1, 8.0163) 5-1 in the first round on April 26, Scottsdale Prep eliminated No. 5 Northwest Christian (11-1, 11.6630) 6-0 in the quarterfinals, and No. 13 Phoenix Basis (8-3, 4.5547) 5-0 in the first round, Phoenix Country Day posted 5-0 shutouts over No. 7 Thatcher (11-3, 10.8410) in the quarterfinals and over No. 15 Tucson Sabino (7-6, 2.9309), and Arizona College Prep ousted No. 11 Gilbert Christian (8-4, 6.2326) 5-2 in the quarterfinals and No. 14 Phoenix Veritas Prep (6-5, 3.4879) 5-0 in the first round.

Phoenix Country Day – 5, Thatcher – 0

Phoenix Country took all six singles matches in two sets apiece, No. 1 junior Milan Sewell (6-1 twice over junior Maren Hatch), No. 2 senior Danielle Castro-Martinez (6-0 twice over junior Lindsey McMaster), No. 3 junior Julia Black (6-1, 6-0 over senior Amanda Sampson), No. 4 junior Misha Ghafouri (6-1 twice over junior Camille Bryce), No. 5 senior Kirtana Roopan (6-4, 6-1 over senior Charity Neilson), and No. 6 sophomore Ayelet Jaffee (7-5, 2-1 over freshman Kayla Turley).

Please follow and like us: