Already with back-to-back state titles in the past two years, the Cypress Bay boys’ tennis team will now be looking for a three-peat.
That following its total domination of Krop in Thursday afternoon’s Region 4-7A final at Krop High School, where it not only rolled to a 4-0 decision in singles matches but only lost a combined two games in the process.
The boys will be joined by the girls, who earlier turned in similar work against the Krop girls, winning 5-0 in singles and thus not warranting doubles matches. Both teams will head to Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs near Orlando for the state tournament beginning Monday.
“I’m very happy with the way the boys came out [Thursday] — very focused,” Cypress Bay boys coach Vince Grossi said. “We had spoken on the bus ride over to make sure when it came time to start our warmups that we had 100 percent focus, and once we got on the court, I could see the focus in our kids’ eyes, and even though you wouldn’t know it by the scores, Krop played very well and doing a good job of keeping balls in play, but our boys were just able to counter very well and able to keep the ball in play a little bit longer, and that was the key to the match.”
Carlos Moreno and Michael Plutt rolled to 6-0, 6-0 victories in the No. 4 and 5 singles, respectively, for Cypress Bay (15-0), while No. 3 Andrew Heller and No. 1 singles senior Gianlucca Massa cruised to 6-1, 6-0 wins to complete the scoring. No. 2 Christopher Morin was leading his match 6-1, 2-1 when he tweaked his back. With his team ahead 4-0 and having already punched its ticket to state, Morin retired.
“I was a little nervous in the first two games but started getting more into my rhythm a few games in, and I was alright after that,” Massa said. “As far as the three-peat is concerned, there’s a lot of good teams up there, and we’re going to have to play our best. They all want to beat us because we’re the two-time defending state champs, so we’ll be the ones with the bulls-eye on our back.”
CYPRESS BAY girls
Before the boys had advanced, the Cypress Bay girls took the courts in the morning and pulled off a 5-0 singles sweep of the Krop girls, negating any doubles play.
The Cypress Bay girls remained unbeaten at 15-0 and will head back to the state tournament. But, unlike the boys, they will be looking for a shot at redemption. Seeking the program’s first state title, it was a year ago that it literally came down to the final match and a loss in doubles left them a painful single point behind Tampa Plant for the 7A title.
“Last year was really difficult for us as it came down to the very last match so, yes, we are a really driven bunch and are excited about the chance to go back up there and find a way to get that extra point and bring the championship home,” said Cypress Bay sophomore Pierina Imperato, who raised her personal record to 18-0 with a 6-4, 6-2 sweep of Krop’s Naiya Oden in No. 1 singles. “We came here a little nervous [Thursday] because we know how good Krop is and knew it would be a tough match, but we managed to stay focused and play very well.”
Cypress Bay’s dominance came by No. 2 through 5 singles matches as well, as Shene Disbergen, Sibel Can, Michelle Eisenberg and sister Samara Eisenberg swept their matches in straight sets.
“Our girls played very well,” Cypress Bay girls’ coach Marina Stewart said. “We were hoping we would not have to go to doubles, and they did a good job of going out there and taking care of business because Krop is obviously a very good team.”
Despite the loss, coach Mike Kypriss will still be making the trip to Central Florida as the Krop girls (17-3) will still send one individual qualifier (Oden) along with the No. 1 doubles team of Oden and Danna Gandelman to state thanks to their district title last week.
+Two boys, the No. 1 doubles team of Alex Rothman and Fabrice Bissainthe, also qualified.
The Region 13-1A boys’ final between Sagemont and Boca Raton Saint Andrew’s at Weston Tennis Center on Thursday afternoon was rescheduled for Friday morning at 8:30.
Saint Andrew’s — which has only one tennis coach, Scott Williams, for both of its teams — had a girls’ regional final match at American Heritage Boca-Delray earlier in the day, which ended just before 2:30 p.m. Saint Andrew’s would not have been able to travel from Delray Beach to Weston and play its matches with Sagemont in a timely fashion before other reservations also scheduled at the tennis courts.
•Region 8-2A — Boys: Gulliver Prep 4, University School 1:
No. 1 Chase Perez-Blanco (GP) vs. Ryan Khan (US) 6-3, 6-3. No. 2 Baker Newman (GP) vs. David Omsky (US) 6-0, 6-1. No. 3 Michael Heller (US) vs. Andre Libnic (GP) 6-0, 6-0. No. 4 Laurentiu Schinteie (GP) vs. Mark Fedotovsky (US) 6-2, 6-1. No. 5 Ben Roque (GP) vs. Alec Zager (US) 6-0, 6-0.Girls: Gulliver Prep 5, Pine Crest 0:
No. 1 Olivia Thaler (GP) vs. Stephanie Taylor (PC) 6-3, 6-1. No. 2 Julieta Dalmau (GP) vs. Ines de Bracamonte (PC) 6-0, 7-5. No. 3 Alyssa Pujals (GP) vs. Kaely Malik (PC) 6-1, 6-0. No. 4 Lindy Lyons (GP) vs. Demi Snyder (PC) 6-2, 7-6. No. 5 Estefania Navarro (GP) vs. Carly Feldman (US) 6-4, 6-1.