As was the case in the state badminton doubles competition last Saturday, Phoenix Mountain Pointe utilized doubles competition again as a catalyst to gain its second consecutive state championship in five days.
After the singles team competition Thursday night, Mountain Pointe led 4-2 over Phoenix Xavier Prep, and then the doubles pair of Sabrina Martinez and Geneva Heinkel provided the margin of victory with a 15-0, 15-7 win over Natalie Chapin and Amber Whaley. The Martinez-Heinkel effort carried Mountain Pointe to a 5-2 team win over Xavier at Sunnyslope High and state team crown.
The victory capped two state badminton crowns for Mountain Pointe in less than a week. On Saturday, Martinez and Heinkel defeated Carina Arellano and Meghan Crown of Xavier Prep 17-14, 15-10 to grab the state’s doubles title.
Martinez and Heinkel exploited a collective power serve and intelligent placement as key factors for the win.
“Once we finished the season undefeated, we started thinking about a state championship,” Heinkel said. “We were confident and wanted this bad. Sabrina and I have been playing partners since my freshman year, and we just know what each of us will do on the court.”
In singles competition, the Mountain Pointe wins came from Kiyoko Hashimoto,Vaishnavi Koka, Martinez and Heinkel. The Xavier Prep victories were earned by Areta Buness and Baani Khurana.
That forced doubles competition to determine the winning team. That’s when Martinez and Heinkel blew away the competition for the second state championship.
“We know there are many great teams we face each year, but we really wanted to beat Xavier,” Mountain Pointe coach Pom Brown said. “(Xavier) is bound to lose at some point, and we were able to beat them twice in a week.”