Olivas siblings advance to state quarters
by Mike Russo sports editor
Neither Agua Fria’s boys nor girls qualified for
the Division II state team tennis tournament, but the Olivas siblings are carrying the school’s banner in their respective state singles tournaments.
Senior Jonathan Olivas, the No. 3 seed, advanced to the quarterfinals after the first two days of play at Scottsdale Ranch Park. He will meet unseeded Ian Liu of Phoenix Shadow Mountain at 5 p.m. Friday at Paseo Racquet Center, 6268 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale. “It should be a good match with Liu,” Olivas said. “I
know him from USTA tournaments.” Olivas received a first-round bye and then advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Mein Huynh of El Mirage Dysart. He followed up with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Josh Hinkel of Oro Valley Canyon del Oro, reaching the quarterfinals. Olivas reached the Division II state quarterfinals last year before bowing out. He had to withdraw from the tournament because of a scheduling conflict and defaulted to third-seeded Cameron Tehrani of Scottsdale Saguaro.
“Saturday, I played better than I have recently,”
Olivas said. “Friday, I was little rusty. I made a few improvements in my serve. I’m more efficient with my first serve.”
Meanwhile, Bianca, got off to a good start. The freshman is seeded eighth. She defeated Tempe McClintock’s Kaylee Wong in the opening round, 6-1, 6-1, and followed up with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Bobbie Le of Phoenix Paradise Valley. She defeated Alexandra Gaylord of Prescott Valley Bradshaw Mountain, 7-5, 6-4, in Saturday’s third round. “She has done fantastic,” coach Ashley Fergus said.
“We’re really excited about the eighth seed. She has proved that she was deserving of that seed.” Olivas will take on top-seeded Zaina Sufi of Tucson Catalina Foothills in Friday’s quarterfinals. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Paseo. “The next match will be a good challenge for Bianca,”
Fergus said. Agua Fria’s doubles team did not fare as well. The tandem of Nikko Thomas and Nhat Nguyen lost their opening-round match to a pair from Peoria Liberty, 6-1, 6-2.
Krystina French and Megan Macias won their opener against a duo from Phoenix Thunderbird, 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2, before falling 6-3, 6-0 to a tandem from Sahuarita. “I have never seen them play better than they did in
that first match,” Fergus said. “I think they got frustrated in the second match. The other girls were just lobbing all match. We had focused on attacking the net but they didn’t get the chance. They exceeded my expectations. “I am very impressed with how well all the girls did. No one won a first-round match last year.”
La Joya La Joya made its return to the Division II state tournament after the program was on hiatus last year. David Nino of La Joya fell to Mein Huynh of El Mirage Dysart in the opening round, 6-1, 6-0. Ralph Garcia and Mark Salazar lost to a team from Greenway in the first round, 6-1, 6-0, of doubles play. In girls’ singles, Serena Mulhern fell in the first round to Casa Grande Vista Grande’s Bianca Heraldez, 6-1, 6-1. “Serena played really well,” coach Patsy St. John said. “The girls she played was surprised that Serena is only a freshman.”
The duo of Isai Valdez and Claudia Rodriguez were
knocked out the tournament in the first round by a 6-0, 6-1 loss to a team from Glendale Raymond S. Kellis. “They didn’t play as well as they have played,” St. John said. “They were nervous, but even experienced players get nervous at state. “I wasn’t sure I was going to send any girls to state but I figured it was good experience. I’m glad I sent them.”
OLIVAS of Agua Fria practices earlier this season. Olivas, a freshman, has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II state quarterfinals. She will play top- seeded Zaina Sufi of Catalina Foothills at 5 p.m. Friday at Paseo Racquet Center.
Division I In the Division I state tournaments, Millennium’s Nick Cunningham, the No. 5 seed, reached the state quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mohammad Saleem of Phoeinx Desert Vista. He is looking to improve upon last year’s fourth-place
finish as a freshman. Cunningham received a first-round bye and then
followed up with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Tucson Sunnyside’s Juari Villacana.
He is scheduled to meet C.J. Krimbill of Scottsdale Desert Mountain in the quarterfinals at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Paseo.
In doubles, Millennium’s Bernard Carpin and Woody
Gant won their first-round match, 6-2, 6-0, over a twosome from Mesa Desert Ridge. A duo from Gilbert Highland knocked them from the
tourney in the second round, 6-2, 6-0. On the distaff side, McKenna Farris lost to Sarah
Rutkowski of Tempe Corona del Sol in the first round, 6-0, 6-0.
Lindsay Guest and Madi Rosztoczy lost a tough three-set match in their opener. They lost to a Scottsdale Chaparral team, 6-3, 5-7 and 6-1.
Westview Like La Joya, Westview was making its return to the state tourney after the program was discontinued last year. Westview’s No. 1 player, David Casper lost in three sets (6-1, 1-6 and 6-2) to Yuma Kofa’s Santos Rangel in
the tournament opener. “I thought he did pretty well,” coach Paul Valkingburg said. “He did all the right things, he just didn’t put the ball away. His strategy was good.”
In doubles, senior Justin Reno and freshman Jared Purdie lost 6-0, 6-1 to a team from Mesa in the first round. “They played very nervous,” Valkingburg said. “The freshman was nervous at the beginning, then he settled down but Justin got tight. He hadn’t played since his sophomore year. They just didn’t seem like themselves.” Valkingburg is excited about the prospect of having Purdie for three more years. “After the match, he asked me, ‘When can we start practicing?’” Valkingburg said. “Jared is a very complete player. He has the best volleys on the team and the best technique. “Even though two of the three kids I took were seniors, the freshman had a really good experience.” For the Lady Knights, Jessica Ramirez won her first match, 6-2, 6-3 against Magdelana Medina of Phoenix Central. She bowed out of the tournament in the second round with a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Mikayla Esquerra of Glendale Deer Valley.
Mary Umstadt and Naveet Khur exited the tournament
in the first round with a 6-2, 6-3 loss to a team from Mesa Skyline.
Mike Russo can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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17 West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Tuesday, April 24, 2012
View file photo by Ray Thomas
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