State tennis

Gulliver teams in hunt for titles

 

Special to the Miami Herald

For the second year in a row, the Gulliver Prep boys reeled off a perfect opening day of the Class 2A state tennis championship.

The Raider girls had only one blemish.

Neither squad, though, found much breathing room when Monday’s competition had reached its conclusion.

Gainesville Eastside matched the Raiders nearly win for win on the boys’ side, finishing with 11 points to Gulliver’s perfect 12. And though the girls won 10 of 11 matches on the day, they found themselves tied with Rockledge for the top spot.

“There’s going to be some good matches — some really good matches,” said Gulliver coach Kelly Mulligan.

“I know the boys are strong with Chase [Perez-Blanco] and Baker [Newman]. But it’s another day [Tuesday], and everybody’s got to play well.”

The Gulliver boys also swept all 12 first-day matches a year ago, locking up the title before sundown as their top foes took turns knocking each other off. But it was a different story Monday, as Eastside — which won only three matches in last year’s state finals — came up stunningly strong.

The deciding factor from the No. 1 singles, where top seed Perez-Blanco ousted Eastside’s Camille Kima in the semifinals.

Every other singles bracket features Gulliver-Eastside final on Tuesday. They also square off in one doubles semifinal.

“It’s basically going to feel like a dual match,” Mulligan said. “It makes it feel more like a team thing, like you’re actually playing the school.”

It’ll be much the same on the girls’ side, where two singles finals will be Gulliver-Rockledge matchups, along with both doubles semifinals.

The big surprise for Gulliver came in the No. 3 singles, where top seed Alyssa Pujals was upended in the opening round by Rockledge’s Kaitlin Ruether.

“That was a tough draw,” said Mulligan, noting that Ruether might have been worthy of the No. 2 seed at the other end of the bracket.

At the Class 4A tournament in nearby Longwood, the Coral Gables boys again will have to find a way past Cypress Bay to claim their first title since 1972.

The Cavaliers, runner-up to Cypress Bay last year, trailed the Lightning 10-9 as Monday’s competition ended at Sanlando Park. The squads will face each other in two singles finals, along with both doubles semifinals.

“If we can win those two doubles matches, we have a chance,” said coach David Weiner, who saw two singles semifinals get to third-set tiebreakers with mixed results. No. 3 Daniel Spatz advanced, but No. 4 Cristian Gazzolo fell to Spanish River’s Charles Sullivan.

“Yeah, it’s been a long day,” said coach Kelly Gibson, who got a little good news on the boys’ side when the doubles team of Aleksandr Petrovic and Daniel Trainor reached the individual semifinals.

Results

Class 4A team scores

At Sanlando Park, Longwood

Boys: Cypress Bay 10 points, Coral Gables 9, Winter Park 6, Boca Raton Spanish River 5, Sarasota Riverview 5, Orlando Olympia 2, Port Orange Spruce Creek 1, Vero Beach 0.

Girls: Orlando Dr. Phillips 10 points, Cypress Bay 8, Boca Raton 8, Tampa Plant 7, Palmetto 4, Winter Park 1, Port Orange Spruce Creek 0, Vero Beach 0.

Class 2A team scores

At Red Bug Lake Park, Casselberry

Boys: Gulliver Prep 12 points, Gainesville Eastside 11, Bishop Verot 4, Tampa Jesuit 3, Gulf Breeze 3, Stanton Prep 2, Riviera Beach Suncoast 2, Brooksville Nature Coast 1.

Girls: Gulliver Prep 10 points, Rockledge 10, Jacksonville Bolles 6, Orlando Lake Highland Prep 6, Tampa Holy Names 3, Englewood Lemon Bay 2, Dade City Pasco 1, Gulf Breeze 0.

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

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">In good form:</span> Columbus High's Rafa Martinez hits a chip shot out of the sand trap on the 18th hole Tuesday, en route to a 69 to lead the Explorers to a 12-shot win at the Youth Fair Golf Tournament.

    Boys’ Golf

    Rafa Martinez leads Columbus boys’ golf team to Youth Fair win

    The Columbus golf team’s depth has been the big difference in its surge back to the top in Miami-Dade County the past couple of years.

  • On the recruiting trail

    Jordan Cronkrite reverses, won’t go to UM

    The University of Miami’s crowded backfield situation in the 2015 recruiting class got a bit more roomier after Westminster Christian running back Jordan Cronkrite announced Saturday morning on Twitter that he was withdrawing his commitment from the Hurricanes.

  • Roundup

    American boys’, girls’ bowling sweep HML

    The American High standout bowling tandem of Stephanie Wong and Trace Reid proved too potent for Hialeah-Miami Lakes on Tuesday.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category