After withdrawing from Saturday’s No. 4 singles match against Fountain Hills’ Dominick Cocciola because of a headache, Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian freshman Camron Vick was frustrated he couldn’t help his team.
But after teaming with fellow freshman Davis Towne to win the decisive No. 3 doubles match 10-4 and lift Pusch Ridge to the Division III tennis championship at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center, he was all smiles.
Pusch Ridge, winner in 2011 and runner-up to Thatcher last season, was champ again.
“We were making too many mistakes at the start, but then figured it out,” Vick said of clinching the decisive doubles match with Towne, the final point in Pusch Ridge’s 5-2 victory. “We just did the basics our coach told us to.”
Towne said nerves increased when he and Vick looked on adjacent courts and saw how close the other doubles matches were.
“(Those scores) made me anxious, but we had to stay focused,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is for the state title. No more messing around.’ ”
Michael Houser’s win over Matt Seiwert at No. 3 singles 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 was critical to Pusch Ridge’s victory, too, considering Houser trailed 5-1 in the third set and was serving at 4-5, down 40-0.
“I was obviously nervous, but knew what I had to do,” Houser said. “I knew this was my last (singles) match in high school, and I didn’t want to lose it.”
Fountain Hills, champions in 2000 and ’04 and co-champs with Eloy Santa Cruz in ’01, got a key win from Matt Fisher at No. 1 singles 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 but couldn’t sweep all three doubles matches to win the title.
“That’s almost impossible,” Fountain Hills coach Jean Serrano said. “We played well, and the (Nos. 1 and 2 doubles matches) could have gone either way.”
Pusch Ridge coach David Towne said he liked entering state as the dark horse.
“It’s always good when people are looking for someone else and you come along and surprise them,” he said.