It came down to the final match and took every bit of resilience.
But after an eight-hour day on the tennis court, the Palmetto girls finally overcame their longtime nemesis.
The Panthers snapped Krop’s nine-year streak of winning GMAC championships with a 4-3 victory over the Lightning Wednesday at the Biltmore Hotel tennis courts in Coral Gables.
Stephanie Levine and Sophia Dao’s 8-6 victory over Krop’s team of Naomi Maehama and Sofia Sultan at No. 2 doubles clinched the win.
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Dao also won at No. 5 singles to complement crucial victories by Emma Peterson at No. 1 singles and Cary Milanes at No. 3 singles.
“It feels so good to finally beat them [at GMACs],” Peterson said. “It’s always a struggle against [Krop] because they always have a strong team that’s ready to play.”
On the boys’ side, Coral Gables kept its growing GMAC title streak alive with a 5-0 sweep of Krop’s boys.
Mirko Radosevic (No. 1), Danny Spatz (No. 2), Christian Gazzolo (No. 3), Jacob Nieto (No. 4) and Ricardo Mercado (No. 5) were victorious for the Cavaliers.
Nieto’s victory at No. 4 over Krop’s David Miculizki was one of the most competitive of the day with Nieto finally securing victory, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8.
Peterson’s match against Krop’s Naya Oden in the girls’ No. 1 singles (6-2, 7-5) set the tone for the Panthers’ victory.
Palmetto (11-1) is hoping to carry the momentum toward a possible run at a state championship.
“The No. 2 doubles team may have clinched it, but we had a great set up by Peterson and then Levine and Dao finished it,” Palmetto coach Kelly Gibson said. “The girls played some tough singles matches overall.”
Boys’ final – Coral Gables d. Dr. Krop 5-0 – No. 1 singles: Mirko Radosevic (CG) d. Alex Loughlin (KR) 7-5, 6-3; No. 2: Danny Spatz (CG) d. Ariel Hollander (KR) 6-3, 6-4; No. 3: Christian Gazzolo (CG) d. Fabrice Bissainthe (KR) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3); No. 4: Jacob Nieto (CG) d. David Miculizki (KR) 7-5, 4-6, 10-8; No. 5: Ricardo Mercado (CG) d. Leland Bein (KR) 7-5, 7-5.
Girls’ final – Palmetto d. Krop 4-3 – No. 1 singles: Emma Peterson (PAL) d. Naya Oden (KR) 6-2, 7-5; No. 2: Danna Gandelman (KR) d. Stephanie Levine (PAL) 6-1, 6-1; No. 3: Cary Milanes (PAL) d. Sofia Sultan (KR) 6-0, 6-1; No. 4: Naomi Maehama (KR) d. Olivia Schuitema (PAL) 6-0, 6-1; No. 5: Sophia Dao (PAL) d. Julie Shillington (KR) 6-2, 6-3; No. 1 doubles: Gandelman/Oden (KR) d. Peterson/Milanes (PAL) 8-2; No. 2: Levine/Dao (PAL) d. Maehama/Sultan (KR) 8-6.
Girls’ semifinals: Krop d. Mourning 5-0; Palmetto d. Coral Gables 5-0.
Boys’ semifinals: Krop d. Mourning 4-1; Coral Gables d. Palmetto 5-0.