The Florida High School Athletic Association changed the format for this season’s state tournament championships.
Instead of accumulating points based on individual match victories, teams battled each other head-to-head for three rounds to determine a champion.
It didn’t bother two of South Florida’s tennis powerhouses as Gulliver and Cypress Bay swept the boys’ and girls’ team championships in their respective classifications Tuesday.
Gulliver’s boys won their fourth state championship in the past five seasons and 10th overall, which ranks second all-time in Miami-Dade County history behind Coral Gables’ 17.
Cypress Bay’s girls pulled off the three-peat by beating Orlando Olympia 4-0 in the finals. Jemileth Aguilar and Sibel Can won No. 1 doubles, and the team of Michelle and Samara Eisenberg won at No. 2. Michelle Eisenberg and Laura Herrera later won their singles matches to clinch the title.
The Lightning’s boys won their third state title in four seasons by beating Sarasota Riverview 4-0. Andrew Heller and Michael Heller won No. 1 doubles, and Sebastian Ariza and Robert Slutsky won the No. 2 doubles title. Heller and Nicolas Cabrera then sealed the win with singles victories.
The Gulliver girls won their third in the past four seasons and seventh overall, which ranks fifth all-time among Dade schools.
Gulliver’s girls were dominant losing only six service games combined in two match wins over Orlando Lake Highland Prep and Lemon Bay. Julieta Dalmau and Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico teamed up to win No. 1 doubles, and Lindy Lyons and Estafania Navarro won at No. 2. Dalmau, Navarro and Tatiana Ramirez all played on three state championship teams together.
“We had three seniors that will play college tennis that wanted to finish with a great ending,” Gulliver coach Kelly Mulligan said. “In the singles round, the boys just rose to another level.”
Gulliver’s boys outlasted Montverde Academy in a tough final match 4-3.
Gulliver lost both doubles matches by a score of 6-4, 7-6 but rallied to win four singles matches as Nicolas Ramirez (No. 2), Christian Otero (No. 3), Maxim Krapivin (No. 4) and Ryan Hellinger (No. 5).
Coral Gables did something it hadn’t done since 1967 when it swept the boys’ and girls’ doubles championships in Class 4A.
Kristina Fernandez, who lost in the individual singles championship round, won the girls’ doubles title with partner Sofia Quevedo as they won a pair of tough three-set matches.
After beating Coral Springs’ team of Roxanne and Samantha Fine 6-1, 5-7, 10-6 in the semifinals, Fernandez and Quevedo outlasted the team of Candace Carmouche and Alana Wolfburg from Orlando Timber Creek, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 10-3.
Fernandez and Quevedo became the first Coral Gables girls’ team to win a doubles title since 1967 when Ann Roberts and Joan Langstroth accomplished the feat in the overall division.
In a Dade vs. Dade matchup, Gables’ team of Jack Lee and Daniel Krulig beat Ferguson’s Jose Ortega and Jose Disotuar, 2-6, 6-3, 10-0 to win the boys’ doubles title.
Richie Torres made school history Tuesday when he won MAST Academy’s first-ever individual tennis singles championship.
After beating Alexander Zenonos of Paxon in the semifinals, Torres, who has signed to play at Boston University, outdueled another South Florida standout when he beat Somerset Academy’s Brandon Shanklin, 6-1, 6-4.
Torres, a senior, finished the season with an 18-1 record, winning a district and regional title, as well, at No. 1 singles. As a junior, Torres was an individual state runner-up and his sophomore season won an individual doubles title with then-teammate Fred Albion.
Plantation American Heritage’s tandem of Zachary Ebenfeld and Jordan Skalet repeated as state champions in the Class 2A individual doubles division.
Ebenfeld and Skalet became the first boys’ doubles team to repeat as state champions since Jose Ayala and Mark Merklein of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1988-89.
Class 4A boys’ team championship – Cypress Bay vs. Sarasota Riverview 4-0 – No. 1 doubles: Andrew Heller/Michael Heller (CB) d. Finn Anderson/Antoine Sanchez (SR) 6-3, 6-3; No. 2: Sebastian Ariza/Robert Slutsky (CB) d. Brandon Lup/Gabriel von Kessel (SR) 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 singles: Michael Heller (CB) d. Anderson (SR) 6-2, 6-0; No. 3: Slutsky (CB) d. von Kessel (SR) 6-1, 6-2; No. 5: Nicolas Cabrera (CB) d. Lup (SR) 6-3, 6-0; Semifinals – Cypress Bay 4, Boca Raton Spanish River 1 – No. 1 singles: Andrew Heller (CB) d. Keaton Allwardt (SR) 6-2, 6-1; No. 3: Robert Slutsky (CB) d. Patrick Murray (SR) retired (injury); No. 5: Nicolas Cabrera (CB) d. Stephen Scherer (SR) 6-0, 6-4; No. 1 doubles: Heller/Michael Heller (CB) d. Allwardt/Guido Argentini (SR) 5-7, 7-5, 11-9; No. 2: Slutsky/Sebastian Ariza (CB) d. Jared Lee/Murray (SR) 7-6 (2), 6-7 (7), 10-6.
Class 4A girls’ team championship – Cypress Bay 4, Orlando Olympia 0 – No. 1 doubles: Jemileth Aguilar/Sibel Can (CB) d. Arianna Beltrame/Valeria Bianchi (OLY) 6-0, 6-0; No. 2: Michelle Eisenberg/Samara Eisenberg (CB) d. Kennedy Palata/Dieke Schipper (OLY) 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 singles: Michelle Eisenberg (CB) d. Palata (OLY) 6-0, 6-0; No. 5: Laura Herrera (CB) Rachel Greenwald (OLY) 6-0, 6-0; Semifinals – Cypress Bay 4, Boca Raton 2 – No. 1 singles: Clare McKee (BC) d. Sibel Can (CB) 6-4, 3-6, 10-7; No. 2: Jemileth Aguilar (CB) d. Meisha Kendall-Woseley (BC) 6-1, 6-4; No. 4: Samara Eisenberg (CB) d. Mya Fuentes (BC) 6-2, 3-6, 10-4; No. 5: Paige Conrad (BC) d. Laura Herrera (CB) 6-2, 3-6, 10-5; No. 1 doubles: Aguilar/Can (CB) d. McKee/Kendall-Woseley (BC) 6-4, 6-1; No. 2: Michelle Eisenberg/Samara Eisenberg (CB) d. Fuentes/Stephanie Johnson (BC) 6-4, 2-6, 10-2.
Class 4A boys’ individual doubles – semifinals: Daniel Krulig/Jack Lee (Coral Gables) d. Joseph Honorio/Angelo Serafini (Coral Springs) 7-6 (9), 6-4; Jose Ortega/Jose Disotuar (Fer) d. David Burns/Mark Suhrer (Fleming Island), 6-3, 6-4; Final: Krulig/Lee (CG) d. Ortega/Disotuar (Fer) 2-6, 6-3, 10-0.
Class 4A girls’ individual singles semifinal: Rehaana Butt (Countryside) d. Kristina Fernandez (Coral Gables) 6-1, 6-4; Doubles semifinal: Fernandez/Sofia Quevedo (CG) d. Roxanne Fine/Samantha Fine (Coral Springs) 6-1, 5-7, 10-6; Final: Fernandez/Quevedo (CG) d. Candace Carmouche/Alana Wolfburg (Timber Creek) 7-6 (5), 2-6, 10-3.
Class 2A boys’ team championship – Gulliver 4, Montverde Academy 3 – No. 1 singles: Kyle Frankel (M) d. Andre Libnic (G) inj. default; No. 2: Nicolas Ramirez (G) d. Igor Schattan (M) 6-3, 6-4; No. 3: Christian Otero (G) d. Lucas Oncins (M) inj. default; No. 4: Maxim Krapivin (G) d. Antonio Balau (M) 6-2, 6-0; No. 5: Ryan Hellinger (G) d. Erick Oncins (M) 6-0, 6-0; No. 1 doubles: Frankel/Oncins (M) d. Libnic/Krapivin (G) 6-4, 7-6 (4); No. 2: Balau/Schattan (M) d. Hellinger/Ramirez (G) 6-4, 7-6 (4).
; Semifinals: Gulliver 4, Fort Myers Cypress Lake 1 – No. 2 singles: Nicolas Ramirez (G) d. Carson Hiers (CL) 6-2, 6-1; No. 3: Christian Otero (G) d. Jose Camacho (CL) 6-3, 6-2; No. 5: Ryan Hellinger (G) d. Nolan Nowak (CL) 6-0, 6-0; No. 1 doubles: Zachary Bythe/Hiers (CL) d. Andre Libnic/Christian Otero (G) 2-6, 6-3, 10-8; No. 2: Hellinger/Ramirez (G) d. Camacho/Logan Glock (CL) 6-0, 6-0.
Class 2A girls’ team championship – Gulliver 4, Orlando Lake Highland Prep 0 – No. 1 doubles: Julieta Dalmau/Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (G) d. Jenna Garrity/Kayla Rotman (LHP) 6-1, 6-1; No. 2: Lindy Lyons/Estefania Navarro (G) d. Demme Kraut/Serena Sha (LHP) 6-0, 6-3; No. 2 singles: Gonzalez-Rico (G) d. 6-0, 6-0; No. 3: Navarro (G) d. Garrity (LHP) 6-0, 6-0; Semifinals – Gulliver 5, Lemon Bay 0 – No. 1 singles: Julieta Dalmau (G) d. Sarah Lown (LB) 6-0, 6-1; No. 2: Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (G) d. Ashley Tormey (LB) 6-0, 6-0; No. 5: Tatiana Ramirez (G) d. Danielle Tormey (LB) 6-0, 6-0; No. 1 doubles: Dalmau/Gonzalez-Rico (G) d. Lown/A. Tormey (LB) 6-0, 6-0; No. 2: Lindy Lyons/Estefania Navarro (G) d. Stephanie Krisinski/Shannen Smith (LB) 6-0, 6-0.
Class 2A boys’ individuals – Singles’ semifinals: Richie Torres (MAST) d. Alexander Zenonos (Paxon) 6-3, 6-2; Brandon Shanklin (Somerset) d. Santiago Garcia (Cocoa Beach) 6-2, 6-4; Final: Richie Torres (MAST) d. Brandon Shanklin (Som) 6-1, 6-4; Doubles’ semifinals: Zachary Ebenfeld/Jordan Skalet (American Heritage) d. Reynold Greenlaw/Ian Ziegler (Cape Coral) 6-4, 6-1; Final: Ebenfeld/Skalet (AH) d. Tyler Rios/Cameron Slack (Lincoln Park) 6-0, 6-1.
Class 2A girls’ individuals – Singles’ semifinals: Stephanie Taylor (Pine Crest) d. Emily Sidor (Rockledge) 4-6, 6-1, 10-7; Final: Kristina Zieglar (Atlantic) d. Taylor (PC) 6-0, 6-4.