The Catholic Crusaders topped some of the top teams from various regions in Florida, but fell 4-0 to Sagemont in the 1A state finals.
Catholic topped Jacksonville Trinity Christian 4-0 in the first round of states, then bested Tampa Prep 4-0 before falling to Weston Sagemont.
Catholic girls representatives — Lizzie Nowak and Frances Taylor battled their way into the doubles semifinals before falling to Sara Culberston and Nicole Katzarkov of Miami Riviera Prep.
“I’m proud of everybody on these teams,” Catholic coach Geoff Watts said. “Our guys ran into a tough team in the finals, that play more tournament tennis than us. We beat Jacksonville’s best and Tampa’s best — I’m proud of our guys.
“Lizzie and Francis, making it that far as a sophomore and freshman (respectively) was big. It will all sink in about how awesome of a year it was (for Catholic tennis) much sooner than later.”
Argos cruise to first-round GSC win
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The UWF men’s tennis team wasted little time in dispatching its first opponent in the Gulf South Conference Championship Thursday, taking down Alabama Huntsville, 5-0, at the O’Connor Tennis Center at Lagoon Park.
The top-seeded and No. 4 ranked Argonauts (17-5) needed just over two hours to win three doubles and two singles matches to advance into Friday’s semifinals. UWF will face fourth-seeded West Alabama (12-11) at 9 a.m.
On Thursday, UWF collected all three doubles points with identical 8-1 scores. In singles action, Alex Peyrot defeated Murilo Basso, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 1, while Kenny Brasil bested Rodrigo Palomino, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 3 to clinch the match.
“I was a good, solid match to start off the tournament and we were glad to get it going,” UWF head coach Derrick Racine said after the match, which was delayed an hour by weather. “The guys played well in doubles and we got good wins from Alex and Kenny in singles. In these matches, with a tournament format you have a little more pressure to perform and the guys were up to the challenge today.”
All four higher seeds won in the 8-team bracket. No. 2 Valdosta State will meet No. 3 North Alabama in the other semifinal match.
UWF women eliminate Lee in GSC
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The UWF women’s tennis team cruised to a 5-0 victory over Lee in the first round of the Gulf South Conference Championship at the O’Connor Tennis Center at Lagoon Park Thursday.
UWF improved to 20-5 on the year, reaching the 20-win plateau for the 21st time in program history and the 15th time in 18 seasons under head coach Derrick Racine. No. 6 ranked and top-seeded UWF advances to Friday’s semifinal round where it will meet fourth-seeded Alabama Huntsville (11-10) at 1:30 p.m.
UWF was victorious in all three doubles matches to grab the early 3-0 lead. The Argonauts secure the win with straight-set decisions from Dianna Vlad at No. 5 and Heather Mixon at No. 6.
“It was a good match for us,” Racine said. “We got all three doubles matches and then Heather and Dianna took care of business to secure the win for the team. It was a good match to get ready for the semis. We have a tough opponent in UAH, who has already beaten (the No. 2 seed) Valdosta earlier in the year and had a nice win over UNA today, so it should be a good battle.”
As with the men’s tournament earlier in the day, the four higher seeds won each of the first round matches. No. 2 Valdosta State will meet No. 3 West Alabama in the other semifinal match on the women’s side of the draw.