The Daily Courier
|Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier|
Prescott’s Stella Sparks strokes a forehand Wednesday afternoon during round one of the AIA Girls Tennis Division II State Championship against Verrado High School in Prescott. Prescott beat Verrado and will move on to play against second-ranked Nogales on Tuesday, April 30.
Prescott High's seventh-seeded girls' tennis squad is moving on to the quarterfinals of the Division 2 team State Championship after handily defeating No. 10 Buckeye Verrado, 5-0, in the first round at home on Wednesday.
In singles, the Badgers won the Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 matches, and were leading the No. 1 match in the second set before play was suspended with a victory in hand.
No. 2 Stella Sparks (6-1, 6-0), No. 3 Ellie Foreste (6-1, 6-4), No. 4 Kennedi Todd (6-2, 6-2), No. 5 Raphael Temple (6-0, 6-2) and No. 6 Veronica Morvay (6-0, 6-1) took care of business.
No. 1 Kirsi Eby won her first set 6-4 and was up 3-2 in the second when play was called, as the first team to five points automatically garners the win.
Sparks and Morvay won their matches by the largest margins of anyone on their team despite the fact that they are both fighting off tendonitis.
Next up for PHS is No. 2 seed Nogales, which defeated No. 12 Sahuarita, 5-1, in its opening-round match-up on Tuesday.
Prescott will travel to Nogales High for next Tuesday's quarterfinals that start at 3 p.m.
The Badgers lost to Nogales in the first round of state last year, but PHS girls' coach Jonathan Przybyl said his current team is healthier than it was at this time in 2012.
"We're playing at full strength now," he said. "We anticipate a dogfight, but our depth will help us play solidly."
PHS will bus to Tucson on Monday and spend the night there before driving the rest of the way south to Nogales on Tuesday.
The drive from Prescott to Nogales is nearly 300 miles and lasts almost five hours.
Arcadia bounces Bradshaw girls from state championships
Despite a valiant effort, the 11th-seeded Bradshaw Mountain girls' tennis squad succumbed, 5-0, to No. 6 Arcadia in the first round of the D-2 team State Championship on Wednesday in Phoenix.
In singles play, the Bears lost at Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, and were losing in the second set of the No. 4 match when play was stopped with a victory in hand for Arcadia.
No. 1 Delaina Harris (6-0, 6-1), No. 2 Sarah Peakman (6-3, 6-2), No. 3 Cassidy Ball (6-2, 6-2), No. 5 Athena Bowman (6-3, 6-0) and No. 6 Cassandra Beswick (6-3, 6-0) were all gracious in defeat, Bears coach Joe Borzello said.
No. 4 Alyssa Turner was trailing 6-1, 5-3 when her match was suspended with Arcadia having already amassed the five unanswered team points required for victory.
"Our girls hung in there, and I'm so proud of them," Borzello said. "They are committed to working hard over the summer (in Prescott Valley) to continue getting better."