GLENDALE – The Catalina Foothills girls tennis team advanced to the state finals for the sixth straight season and will have a chance to repeat as Division II champions today.
The No. 2-seeded Falcons beat No. 6 Ironwood Ridge 5-1 in Friday’s semifinals and will face top-seeded Scottsdale Notre Dame in today’s final at 2 p.m. at the Paseo Racquet Center.
Foothills, which beat Ironwood Ridge to win last year’s state crown, has a chance to capture its 13th state championship in the last 15 seasons.
Katie Watson, Morgan Chakraborty, Angelica Anderson and Caroline Leidy each won their singles matches Friday, pushing Foothills to a 4-0 lead.
The Falcons’ Noelle Karp rallied from losing her first set to seal the team’s victory over the Nighthawks.
Foothills coach Kristie Stevens knew, just like any other match against Ironwood Ridge, her team was in for a battle. But the Falcons’ depth was a big factor in the victory, she said.
“When you have players at No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 that can really hold their weight, it helps, “ Stevens said.
“The girls really came through for each other.”
In No. 1 singles, Kelsey Brown of Ironwood Ridge battled back and forth with Foothills’ Kirtana Bhat, eventually beating the state singles champion 7-6 (5), 6-1 for the Nighthawks’ lone win Friday.
Division III girls
No. 3 Buckeye 5, No. 7 Desert Christian 1: At Paseo, the Eagles ended their season in the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Courtenay Gleason was the lone Desert Christian player to win when she beat Kendalle Finchum 6-3, 6-1.
“Their effort was unbelievable,” Desert Christian assistant coach Alec Gee said.