“We have a strong No. 1 with [Perez] and lots of depth behind him that should help us,” Coral Gables coach David Weiner said.
Perez, who was invited to compete at a Davis Cup event this week in Jacksonville, is expected to have a breakout season. Sophomore Cristian Gazzolo and junior Danny Spatz each won individual district and regional titles last season and will be joined by senior Sebastian Gazzolo and junior Jacobo Nieto, who will replace Alvarez in the lineup.
“The rhythm of play in our matches should be a lot better,” Spatz said. “Our concentration needs to stay strong in tough matches if we’re going to win it all.”
The Cavaliers have a contender on the girls’ side individually who also is from the Radosevic family.
Senior Sonja Radosevic is a two-time regional champion and figures to once again rank among the county’s best girls. Radosevic committed to the University of Denver and is a 4.0 honors student.
As far as Dade girls’ teams go, the two that brought home state championships last season appear poised for a repeat.
Dr. Krop, which shared the Class 4A crown with Tampa Plant last year, returns a strong team led by Louisville signee Cassie Pough and junior Danna Gandelman.
The Lightning needs a talented young group from No. 3 singles down to contribute if it is to win its sixth state title in the past seven years.
Ransom Everglades girls will vie for their fifth state title since 2003 and eighth overall with a strong returning group led by junior Allegra Hanlon and sophomore Daniela Lopez.
Ransom Everglades’ boys were state runners-up in Class 1A last year and will give it another shot led by senior Jeff Mackenzie.
Gulliver’s boys had their streak of five consecutive state titles snapped by Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest last season. But the Raiders might be in position to start a new championship streak in Class 2A.
Juniors Chase Perez-Blanco and Baker Newman are back along with senior Brian Granoff to lead the Raiders, who will likely clash with Pine Crest down the stretch once again.
Gulliver’s girls, led by junior Olivia Thaler and freshman Julieta Dalmau, will look to improve upon a state runner-up finish and win their first state title since 2007.