The Cypress Bay boys’ and girls’ tennis teams advanced to the state finals for the second year in a row.
The boys — defending Class 4A champions — beat host Stoneman Douglas 5-0 on Thursday afternoon.
They returned five members from last season’s squad and added two new players. Sophomore Christopher Morin, who earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory over freshman Greg Sovie in the third position, had moved to the United States from France.
“Everybody’s training every day after school, and we’re very serious and trying to do our best,” Morin said. “It’s exciting. We’re just going to try and enjoy it.”
After a sixth-place finish at the state final last year, the girls continued their undefeated season with a 4-1 win over the Eagles.
Shené, one of five freshmen on the team, clinched the trip to Altamonte Springs in the second position with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-0 decision over sophomore Kaela Bynoe.
“I was playing really well the first set, and the second set she played better and I wasn’t playing my game,” Shené said. “The third set my team made a huge difference cheering me on, and I awoke from this dream.”
• Pine Crest reached the Class 2A state finals with a 4-0 victory over American Heritage.
The Panthers won three of the first four singles matches in two sets. Pine Crest won the team title in 1981. The Patriots, which have won four state titles, finished third last season.
Boys — Cypress Bay 5, Douglas 0: Ryan Smith (CB) d. Cody Flanzer (SD), 6-1, 6-1; Gianlucca Massa (CB) d. Skye Catena (SD), 6-0, 6-1; Christopher Morin (CB) d. Greg Sovie (SD), 6-2, 6-2; Andrew Heller (CB) d. Royce Marnell (SD), 6-1, 6-1; Scott Plutt (CB) d. Aaron Jablon (SD), 6-0, 6-0.
Girls — Cypress Bay 4, Douglas 1: Kellyn Abbanat (SD) d. Pierina Imparato (CB), 6-1, 7-6; Shené (CB) d. Kaela Bynoe (SD), 6-2, 1-6, 6-0; Sibel Can (CB) d. Kasia Kasperski (SD), 6-2, 6-0; Barrie Eisenberg (CB) d. Seasia Catena (SD) 6-2, 6-3; Michelle Eisenberg (CB) d. Ashley Giorgione (SD), 6-1, 6-0.
Girls — Pine Crest 4, American Heritage 0: Stephanie Taylor (PC) d. Chiara Goodman (AH), 6-4, 6-4; Kaely Malik (PC) d. Susana Chinchilla (AH), 6-0, 6-1; Ines de Bracamonte (PC) d. Ronia Dolabany (AH). 6-1, 6-3; Katarina Stevanovich (PC) v. Aleksi Gottlieb (AH) DNF; Dax Seidlin (PC) d. Caroline Buechele (AH) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
• Reagan senior Juan Tovar left the tennis courts at Krop with a coach patting him on his back and telling him he had played his finest match of the season.
That he lost to his opponent, Alex Knight 6-0, 6-2 shows just how much talent Krop coach Felix Rydz has at his disposal.
Krop defeated Reagan 4-1 in a boys’ tennis Class 4A region matchup. Reagan’s season is over at 8-4, but Krop (17-1) advances to the state tournament, which will be held Tuesday through Friday at Altamonte Springs.
“He has a great serve,” Tovar said of Knight. “He will not miss balls. He will make you miss. He’s a great player.”
Knight, who finished second at state last season with a 15-1 individual record, said he is much improved from 2012.
“This whole team has been working on our fitness, training on and off the court,” said Knight, who was 8 years old when he first started playing tennis at Morningside Park. “We’ve been working on the track, the gym and running lines on the court.”
• The visiting Krop girls improved to 14-0-1 with a 5-0 win against Flanagan, dropping a combined total of just two games. “Our girls are really read for state,” Krop coach Michelle Kypriss said.
Boys singles — Krop 4, Reagan 1: No. 1 Alex Knight d. Juan Tovar, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 Paul A’drey Pierre-Louis d. Christian Villacis, 6-2, 6-0; No. 3 Ariel Hollender d. Juan Villasmil, 6-4, 6-4; No. 4 Alex Rothman d. Nelson Romero, 6-1, 6-2; No. 5 Alejandro Rico d. Christian Federici, 7-6, 7-6.
Girls singles — Krop 5, Flanagan 0: No. 1 Cassie Pough d. Samantha Arcvalo, 6-2, 6-0; No. 2 Danna Gandelman d. Lina Restrepo, 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 Naiya Oden d. Anna Dushax, 6-0, 6-0; No. 4 Sophia Sultan d. Nathla Farjavo, 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 Naomi Maehama d. Adrienne Guilbaud, 6-0, 6-0
• The Palmetto girls’ and Coral Gables boys’ teams punched their tickets to the state finals at the Biltmore Hotel with victories in Class 4A regional finals.
Palmetto defeated Coral Gables 4-1, and Coral Gables swept the five singles matches 5-0 from Columbus.
The Palmetto girls, while sending an individual to the state finals for the sixth consecutive season, will now advance to state as a team for the third year in a row.
With Palmetto up 3-1 in girls’ play, the lone Panther playing was Emma Petersen at the No. 2 position against Gables’ Paulina Bejar. Had Petersen lost the three-set match, the regional would have been extended to doubles play to determine a winner.
But Petersen, feisty and loud on the court, clinched a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory to get the team packing early. Already up 3-2 in the third set with both players holding serve, Petersen broke Bejar’s serve to take the commanding 4-2 lead she would not surrender.
“She was down 4-1 in the second set [after dropping the first] and came back to win that set 6-4,” said Palmetto coach Kelly Gibson, whose team placed fourth at state last season. “That was a huge turning point. For a kid to do that, that’s pretty big. She never gives up.”
Added Petersen: “I think I went into the match a little too confident, and Bejar showed up; she’s a really good player. So I had a little bit of difficulty finding my range in the beginning, but I’m glad I pulled through.”
Coral Gables, which was hosting both regionals, did not come away empty Thursday. While the girls fell, the boys are returning to state after finishing second to Cypress Bay in last season’s tournament.
The Cavaliers did it without No. 1 singles player Alfredo Perez, who was participating in the Easter Bowl in California.
“I figured the guys would pick up the slack,” Coral Gables coach David Weiner said. “We’re loaded, man.”
The Gables girls will still have Sonja Radosevic and Paulina Bejar representing them individually in states after winning their district title at No. 1 doubles. Radosevic will also play singles individually at states after her district title at the No. 1 singles position.
Girls’ results — Palmetto 4, Coral Gables 1 — No. 1 singles: Sonja Radosevic (CG) d. Cary Milanes (PAL) 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 singles: Emma Petersen (PAL) d. Paulina Bejar (CG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 singles: Olivia Schuitema (PAL) d. Isabella Blanes (CG) 6-2, 6-0; No. 4 singles: Alex Schlesinger (PAL) d. Alex Acalay (CG) 6-1, 6-1; No. 5 singles: Sophia Dao (PAL) d. Rafa Game (CG) 6-0, 6-0.
Boys’ results — Coral Gables 5, Columbus 0 — No. 1 singles: Mirko Radosevic (CG) d. Bernard Tefel (COL) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 singles: Cristian Gazzolo (CG) d. Thomas McCoy (COL) 6-3, 6-0; No. 3 singles: Sebastian Gazzolo (CG) d. Victor Marotta (COL) 6-2, 6-4; No. 4 singles: Jacobo Nieto (CG) d. Russell McCoy (COL) 6-2, 6-4; No. 5 singles: Federico Mercado (CG) d. Ricardo Lopez (COL) 6-0, 6-2.