Tennis | Season preview

Gulliver boys and girls are hoping for repeat tennis performance

 
 
Gulliver’s top doubles team of Chase Perez-Blanco, left, and Baker Newman are coming off a state-championship season.
Gulliver’s top doubles team of Chase Perez-Blanco, left, and Baker Newman are coming off a state-championship season.
Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Staff

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KEY DATES

March 21GMAC championship

March 31-April 4Districts

April 8Regional semifinals

April 10Regional finals

April 14-18State tournament in Altamonte Springs and Casselberry

DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS

Boys – Class 4A: Weston Cypress Bay; 3A: Naples Barron Collier; 2A: Gulliver; 1A: Weston Sagemont.

Girls – Class 4A: Tampa Plant; 3A: Naples Barron Collier; 2A: Gulliver; 1A: Delray American Heritage.

BOYS’ SEASON OUTLOOKS

CLASS 4A

1. CORAL GABLES (Coach David Weiner, 13th year, 105-15). Last year: 11-1 (State runner-up). Top players: Mirko Radosevic, Sr.; Cristian Gazzolo, Jr.; Oliver Otero, Jr.; Danny Spatz, Sr.

2. PALMETTO (Coach Kelly Gibson, 7th year). Last year: District champions. Top players: Marko Petrovic, So.; Nick Petrovic, Fr.; Danny Trainor, Sr.; Matej Holy, Jr.

3. KROP (Coach Mike Kypriss, 12th year at KR, 31st overall, 1,034-28). Last year: 17-2 (Third at state). Top players: Alex Rothman, Sr.; Ariel Hollander, So.; Fabrice Bissanthe, So.; Leeland Bien, So.

4. MIAMI BEACH (Coach Diego Garcia, 3rd year, 14-8). Last year: 8-3. Top players: Nick Barone, So.; Daniel Bertak, Jr.; Justin Wald, So.; Omar Azzaoui, So.

5. FERGUSON (Coach Jorge Garcia, 4th year). Last year: 3-4. Top players: Jose Ortega, So.; Jose Disotuar, Fr.; Andres Torecilla, Jr.; Gabriel Guzman, Jr.

6. NORTH MIAMI BEACH (Coach Dana Witten, 11th year, 208-52). Last year: N/A. Top players: Nick Guerrera, Sr.; Jessie Aronson, Jr.; Brandon Singletary, Sr.; Kaleb Riles, Fr.

CLASS 3A

1. BELEN (Coach Tim VanScoy, 6th year at BEL, 9th overall, 86-28). Last year: 12-2. Top players: Alejandro Hasagawa, Jr.; Bryan Rodriguez, Sr.; Christian Perez, Sr.; Santiago Vidal, Sr.

2. TERRA (Coach Abby Febles, 3rd year at TERRA, 8th overall). Last year: 8-2. Top players: Luis Diamanti, Jr.; Brian Melamud, So.; Charles Ogden, Jr.; Alex Pizarro, Jr.

3. NORTHWESTERN (Coach George Hart, 3rd year, 5-11). Last year: 3-6. Top players: Larry Pye, Jr.

CLASS 2A

GULLIVER (Coach Kelly Mulligan, 25th year). Last year: State champions. Top players: Chase Perez-Blanco, Sr.; Baker Newman, Sr.; Andre Libnic, So.; Laurentiu Schintcic, Fr.

CLASS 1A

1. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Peter Lehmann, 4th year at RE, 11th overall, 92-51). Last year: 10-4 (Fifth at state). Top players: John Michael Holtmann, Fr.; Antonio Mora, 8th; Samuel Rubell, 7th; Grant Dill, 7th.

2. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Alan Murray, 14th year, 122-44). Last year: 12-0. Top players: Shaun Berman, Sr.; Alec Koss, Sr.; Max Cohan, Jr.; Daniel Kassin, Jr.

3. HILLEL (Coach Ildiko Csordas, 4th year). Last year: 6-1. Top players: Daniel Berkman, Jr.; Jacky Klainbaum, Fr.; Daniel Doron, Jr.; Daniel Mouaded, Fr.

GIRLS’ SEASON OUTLOOKS

CLASS 4A

1. KROP (Coach Mike Kypriss, 13th year at KR, 31st overall, 1,034-28). Last year: 19-0 (Fourth at state). Top players: Naiya Oden, So.; Danna Gandelman, Sr.; Sophia Sultan, Jr.; Naomi Maehama, Sr.

2. PALMETTO (Coach Kelly Gibson, 7th year). Last year: 11-2 (Fourth at state). Top players: Emma Petersen, Jr.; Cary Milanes, Sr.; Stephanie Levine, Jr.; Olivia Schuitema, So.

3. CORAL GABLES (Coach David Weiner, 13th year, 90-25). Last year: 11-2. Top players: Paulina Bejar, So.; Sofia Quevedo, Fr.; Sofia Bosch, So.; Isabella Blanes, Sr.

4. FERGUSON (Coach Janett Toledo, 4th year). Last year: 4-3. Top players: Ivanna Guzman, Sr.; Orianna Guzman, So.; Camila Verdeza, So.; Cecilia Monge, Fr.

5. NORTH MIAMI BEACH (Coach Alberto Concepcion, 1st year at NMB, 8th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: Analis Lawrence, Sr.; Pauline Tendoh, Jr.; Denice Mendoza, Sr.; Anamaria Astudillo, Fr.

CLASS 3A

1. TERRA (Coach Abby Febles, 3rd year at TERRA, 8th overall). Last year: 8-2. Top players: Victoria Cambe, Jr.; Jessica Waddell, So.; Courtney Sever, So.; Priscilla Perez, Jr.

2. NORTHWESTERN (Coach George Hart, 3rd year, 8-10). Last year: 5-4. Top players: Alexandria Curry, So.; Raquel Jackson, Jr.; Kayla Ellison, Sr.

CLASS 2A

GULLIVER (Coach Kelly Mulligan, 25th year). Last year: State champions. Top players: Olivia Thaler, Sr.; Julieta Dalmau, So.; Alyssa Pujals, So.; Lindy Lyons, Fr.

CLASS 1A

1. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Peter Lehmann, 4th year at RE, 9th overall, 76-33). Last year: 13-1 (State runner-up). Top players: Allegra Hanlon, Sr.; Claudia Mackenzie, Sr.; Daniela Lopez, Jr.; Lindsey Mendelson, Sr.

2. CARROLLTON (Coach Max Mangones, 6th year). Last year: 9-2. Top players: Nina Cubero, So.; Lucia Pinero, 7th; Sima Vasquez, Jr.

3. HILLEL (Coach Ildiko Csordas, 4th year). Last year: 5-2. Top players: Sarah Dreyfuss, Sr.; Andrea Waxman, Sr.; Alexa Cohen, Fr.; Daniella Bendayan, So.

4. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Val Banada, 6th year, 26-37). Last year: 6-6. Top players: Megan Tate, Jr.; Sasha Bass, So.; Celina Lindemann, So.

5. PALMER TRINITY (Coach Jon Hainline, 3rd year at PT, 4th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: Hallie Parten, Sr.; Kelly Blary, So.; Vivi Aner, So.; Emily Himes, So.


a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Coach Kelly Mulligan has always tried to keep the feel of a unified tennis team among her boys’ and girls’ teams at Gulliver.

Last season, the Raiders brought home boys’ and girls’ state championships in the same year for the first time.

And with nearly their entire rosters returning, a sequel might be in the works.

“All of our players on both sides have come back strong and healthy and wanting to win it again,” Mulligan said. “The way we approach our matches, the boys are always supporting the girls and vice versa and it boosts an overall team spirit every season.”

Gulliver’s boys will vying for their ninth state title overall, and the girls will try to win their sixth.

Senior Chase Perez-Blanco, an overall state champion in singles and in doubles with fellow senior Baker Newman, will spearhead the effort for the Gulliver boys.

The Raiders will rely on new starters from Nos. 3 through 5, however.

Sophomore Andre Libnic, freshman Laurentiu Schintcic and senior Ben Roque hope to add depth to Gulliver’s lineup.

On the girls’ side, the top spots are among the team’s strongest with senior Olivia Thaler and sophomore Julieta Dalmau returning. Sophomores Alyssa Pujals and Estfania Navarro are also back. Gulliver added freshman Lindy Lyons, a state runner-up in doubles last season who transferred from Carrollton.

“I knew when Julieta first started playing for us and when Olivia came in that this could be the start of potential state championship seasons for the girls,” Mulligan said. “They’ve worked hard and gotten stronger since last season.”

Coral Gables figures to again be among Dade County’s strongest contenders in Class 4A. Senior Mirko Radosevic returns to lead an experienced group that finished second at state last year and could make a similar, if not, better run this season.

Among the top boys’ individuals will be Miami Country Day’s Shaun Berman, a senior who is committed to Washington University in St. Louis and coming off a state individual runner-up finish in Class 1A. His doubles partner Alec Koss, who is headed to Duke, should make them a force in that division as well.

Ransom Everglades figures to be one of the strongest contenders on the girls’ side in Class 1A.

Coming off a state runner-up finish last season, the Raiders return their entire lineup led by seniors Allegra Hanlon and Claudia Mackenzie. Junior Daniela Lopez, who missed last season with an injury returns to bolster the lineup along with senior Lindsey Mendelson and sophomores Heather Boehm and Vivian Fernandez.

Krop lost its top player in Cassie Pough, who signed with Louisville, but returns a young squad that will compete for a spot at state with Palmetto and other Dade contenders.

Senior Danna Gandelman and sophomore Nayia Oden lead the Lightning. Palmetto is led by an experienced group featuring junior Emma Petersen.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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