Ransom Everglades returned to state championship status in girls’ tennis last season.
Judging from their performances this season, the Raiders look poised to make it a repeat.
And the boys’ squad, a state runner-up last season, is hoping to make it a sweep at next week’s state tournament in Casselberry.
“We’ve kept our focus this season because we all have a common goal,” Ransom’s Lindsey Mendelson said.
Ransom’s girls swept Carrollton 5-0 on Thursday in a Class 1A regional final match at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne. The Raiders, who have no seniors in their starting five, were led by juniors Allegra Hanlon and Mendelson.
Hanlon defeated Alexandra Fields at No. 1 after Fields was forced to retire with a back injury after falling behind 5-0 in the first set. Mendelson won her No. 2 match and Claudia McKenzie (No. 3), Heather Boehm (No. 4) and Vivien Fernandez-Ravelo (No. 5) completed the sweep.
Ransom (13-1) is chasing its eighth state title overall and second in a row.
“The support we have for each other has been really important,” Hanlon said. “We’ve stayed united as a team. In a demanding sport like tennis, especially when playing team tennis, it’s great when you know your teammates are backing you up.”
On the boys’ side, Ransom defeated Miami Country Day 4-1 in the regional final at the Jockey Club in Miami Shores. The Raiders boys (10-4) will vie for their fifth state title overall and first since 2008.
Josh Dughi, a senior, won his match at No. 2 singles, and seventh-grader Antonio Mora (No. 3), eighth-grader John Michael Holtmann (No. 4) and sixth-grader Samuel Rubell (No. 5) clinched the victory.
Miami Country Day’s Shaun Berman, an individual state finalist last season, gave the Spartans their lone victory by beating Jeffrey McKenzie 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles match.
“We have good leaders on this team with our seniors,” Ransom coach Peter Lehmann said. “The key to winning an overall title could come down to our middle schoolers. Those guys are young, but very talented.”
Class 1A Boys – Ransom Everglades 4, Miami Country Day 1 – No. 1 singles: Shaun Berman (MCD) d. Jeff McKenzie (RE) 6-2, 6-1; No. 2: Josh Dughi (RE) d. Alec Koss (MCD) 6-3, 6-0; No. 3: Antonio Mora (RE) d. Rafael Kassin (MCD) 6-4, 6-3; No. 4: John Michael Holtmann (RE) d. Danny Kassin (MCD) 6-3, 6-3; No. 5: Samuel Rubell (RE) d. Max Cohen (MCD) 6-2, 6-2.
Class 1A Girls – Ransom Everglades 5, Carrollton 0 – No. 1 singles: Allegra Hanlon (RE) d. Alexandra Fields (CAR), 5-0, retired; No. 2: Lindsey Mendelson (RE) d. Nina Cubero (CAR) 6-3, 6-1; No. 3: Claudia McKenzie (RE) d. Sima Vasquez (CAR) 6-0, 6-0; No. 4: Heather Boehm (RE) d. Alexis Vidaurreta (CAR) 6-2, 6-0; No. 5: Vivien Fernandez-Ravelo (RE) d. Lucia Pineiro (CAR) 6-0, 6-0.
• Reagan senior Juan Tovar left the 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 6-0, 6-2 to Alex Knight 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.