There’s always a chance, but it appears there may be no stopping the Phoenix Brophy Prep and Phoenix Xavier Prep tennis machines.
The Phoenix Brophy boys and Phoenix Xavier girls tennis teams cruised through their respective semifinal team matches Friday and advanced to Saturday’s finals, where each school will look to bring home its second consecutive team championship.
It was a drama-free day all around Friday at Scottsdale Ranch Park and Tennis Center, as top-seeded Brophy defeated No. 4 Scottsdale Desert Mountain 5-0 and No. 3 Tucson Salpointe Catholic did the same to No. 2 Chandler Hamilton on the boys’ side. Salpointe couldn’t get both its teams into the finals, as its 13th-seeded girls were beaten 5-0 by No. 1 Xavier, while No. 2 Scottsdale Chaparral also scored a 5-0 victory, over No. 6 Mesa Red Mountain.
Brophy and Salpointe will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale for the boys championship, and Xavier will square off with Chaparral at the same time and place for the girls title.
As impressive as Salpointe and Chaparral’s victories were, they will enter the finals as underdogs against Brophy and Xavier, the sibling schools that were picked as preseason favorites and who have done nothing to invalidate those picks this year, although both coaches were quick to caution against expectations of another romp in the finals.
“It’s not a sure thing by any stretch,” Brophy coach Bill Woods said of Salpointe. “They’re tough.”
Xavier coach Laurie Martin said: “It’s the state championship. Anything can happen.”
The only things that happened Friday were easy victories for Brophy and Salpointe in the boys bracket and Xavier and Chaparral in the girls. None of the four teams surrendered more than five games in any set, winning their respective matches in the minimum ten sets possible and rendering the doubles portion of the matches meaningless.
Brophy winners: Hudson Blake, senior (6-0, 6-1); Kyle Chalmers, senior (6-1, 6-1); Zach Cihlar, sophomore (6-2, 6-0); David Akin, sophomore (6-3, 6-4); Chase McQueen, junior (6-3, 6-1).
Salpointe winners: Yash Parikh, freshman (6-1, 6-3); Tyler Linscott, senior (6-2, 6-3); Andrew Dunn, senior (6-5, 6-4); Brandon Gerber, senior (6-4, 6-2); Jack Amos, sophomore (6-3, 6-1).
Xavier winners: Maggie Cohen, junior (6-0, 6-1); Scarlet Rush, sophomore (6-0, 6-0); Emily Serrano, senior (6-0, 6-0); Savannah Koss-Aposhian, junior (6-3, 6-1); Anne Marie Collins, sophomore (6-2, 6-3).
Chaparral winners: McKenzie Majerle, freshman (6-0, 6-0); Rebecca Salaway, freshman (6-1, 6-1); Gabbi Chernak, senior (6-2, 6-4); Ally Breece, senior (6-3, 6-1); Meredith Finn, senior (6-4, 6-0).