Verrado tops E.F. in match of unbeatens
by Casey Pritchard assistant sports editor
Nate Showman’s nervous energy about playing Estrella
Foothills turned to excitement over the course of the last week, and with good reason. The Verrado boys tennis coach knew that playing the undefeated Wolves would be a tough challenge, but his team rose to the occasion and pulled out an impressive 6-3 victory on Tuesday. With the win the Vipers (7-0) remain undefeated. “We knew coming in they were a good team,” Showman said. “Last week I was nervous a little bit but the closer we got to the match I was getting excited because I knew it would be a good test. The last couple practices have been a little more intense and you could feel it from the guys that they were ready to play.” The loss for Estrella was its first after starting 6-0. Despite suffering defeat, coach Anthony Campillo was not at all discouraged. “Any time you face good teams you always love the hard-fought ones, even if you lose, because you know where you stand,” Campillo said. “Now we know what our weaknesses are, which is good because we can work on it. And the kids all fought hard, no one gave up, so I’m proud of that.” Verrado started the match with the upper hand, as it
won two of the three doubles matches. Included in that was a victory by the No. 1 tandem of Alvaro Jaramillo and Tristan Dauod, 8-6, over Max Schell and Scott Coleman. It was the first loss of the season for Schell and Coleman, and the first time Jaramillo and Dauod had ever played together. “It was an exciting match,” Jaramillo said. “In doubles, you need to play smart and we played a really good doubles match. It was one of the best doubles games in a long time.”
Jaramillo and Dauod were playing together because
A.J. Thaxton, who is usually Dauod’s partner, had other commitments and was unable to be at the match. That left Augusto Campos with Damian Barraza. “Tristan and Damian are more ground-stroke guys, and
it’s nice to have a net guy and a ground stroke in that split pair, and Alvaro kind of plays everything well, so he can work with anybody,” Showman said. Campos and Barraza won at No. 2 doubles over Drew McNamara and Dean Whitman, 8-3. Estrella’s lone win in doubles came at No. 3, as Miguel Martinez and Matt Morales beat Alec Tejeda-Schmidt and Tyler Milakovich, 8-5.
After a frustrating loss for Schell in doubles, he came out on a mission in singles and dominated, beating Jaramillo in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2. “Singles was a whole different game, I was really determined to win and stay confident,” Schell said. “It was a little bit of revenge, I wanted to get back and take singles because I know in doubles I could have done better.”
Schell won the first 11 games of the match, rushing out to a 5-0 second-set lead before Jaramillo won a couple of games. Schell put it away after that. “I was hitting high, heavy topspin, making him go
View photo by Casey Pritchard
VERRADO’S TRISTAN DAUOD plays against Estrella Foothills Tuesday. He won his singles match and partnered with Alvaro Jaramillo to win at doubles, helping the Vipers to a 6-3 victory.
off the court,” Schell said. “That was my main strategy, keeping it in play and not going for too much.” Schell was impressed by Jaramillo and knew he had to step up his game.
“This guy is really good, I’ve played him before in juniors, but it was a good experience, especially in high school where I have all my friends watching me,” Schell said. “Pulling out the win was nice.” Jaramillo also had praise for Schell. “Max played better than me the first set,” Jaramillo said. “In the second, I played better in the last games, but he made minimal mistakes compared to me. In two weeks I hope I can have a better match and maybe beat Max.” The teams play again on April 10, so Jaramillo will have another crack at Schell then.
At No. 2 singles, Dauod beat Martinez 6-3, 7-5,
crawling out of what seemed like an insurmountable hole to win the second set and the match. He was down 5-0. “That was a great match because Estrella’s No. 2 would be a No. 1 for about any other program on the west side,” Showman said. “That kid was playing great those first five games but Tristan, I think he settled down. I think he came out a little flat after winning that first set and found himself down in a hole, but he battled. For him to battle like that got him a lot of experience against a really good kid.”
Campos beat Coleman at No. 3, 6-2, 6-1, while Barraza
knocked off McNamara, 6-3, 6-1. “Damian hasn’t played higher than [No.] 5 all year and
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played 4, and 2 doubles, and won all of them,” Showman said.
Milakovich beat Whitman 6-4, 6-4, while Estrella’s No. 6 Collin Green beat Tejeda-Schmidt, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 10-8. “Collin Green, he lost the first set, came back on his second one and won the game,” Campillo said. “All of our team has heart. None of them give up and they all fight to the end. They all have the makings of a championship team.” Estrella was back in action Thursday at Buckeye, while
Verrado traveled to Agua Fria. Results of both matches were unavailable at press time. Despite the loss for Estrella on Tuesday, Campillo was still in great spirits. “Everybody’s attitude is still great,” he said. “A couple of heads are down, but they know we have to work and they’re all ready to get better. They’d probably practice right now if we could. That’s what I love about this team, they’re a family and all love each other. We’ll do good.” The win puts Verrado in good position for making the state tournament at the halfway point of the season, but Showman knows winning there will be no easy task. “Since it’s so many more teams that compete for the same number of spots, a 16 [seed] is going to be just as good as anyone else,” Showman said. “It’s going to be anyone’s game at state.”
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