Kirtana Bhat had to take a different route but still got the same result: Another state championship.
The Catalina Foothills junior went undefeated in the regular season and won the Division II singles title, one week before helping the Falcons repeat as team champs. Because of that, Bhat is Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
She received the honor last spring along with her sister, Rachana, and proved she can be just as good on her own.
Bhat will try to become a four-time individual state champion next year. The Falcons will also be a favorite to win their third straight title, and perhaps Bhat can receive this honor for a third year in a row, too.
Ironwood Ridge junior Kelsey Brown was considered for the award having won the Division II doubles title alongside fellow junior Allie Knox. Brown beat Kirtana Bhat in the team semifinals but Bhat bounced back a day later winning her singles match and teaming up with Noelle Karp for a crucial 11-10 win in doubles to lock up the team championship.