High school state boys tennis: Salpointe's Parikh claims singles crown; wants team title

2014-05-04T00:00:00Z High school state boys tennis: Salpointe's Parikh claims singles crown; wants team titleBy Al Bravo Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

GLENDALE — After completing a dominating run through the Division II state tournament, sophomore Yash Parikh still has some unfinished business.

“I’m happy, but I’m not satisfied. I want to win team state,” Parikh said after winning the singles tourney on Saturday at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale. “We’re not done yet.”

Parikh used his drop shot to perfection in sweeping Derek Jones of Thunderbird 6-2, 6-0 to win the state title.

“I started off a little rusty, but then my serve started going well,” Parikh said. “My forehand was off the whole time, though, so I threw in a couple of drops.”

Parikh hadn’t dropped a game in his first four matches of the state tournament until Luke Carstens of Scottsdale Notre Dame got him in the semifinals earlier Saturday. Parikh won that match 6-4, 6-3.

“Confidence is the most important thing,” said Parikh, who didn’t lose a set in six matches on his way to the title. “If I am confident, I will play well for sure.”

The second-seeded Salpointe boys play host to No. 7 Phoenix Thunderbird on Tuesday in the team quarterfinals. The final two rounds are this weekend in Glendale.

Also Saturday, Catalina Foothills’ top-seeded doubles team of Nate Rasmussen and Quinn Gardner rallied against Adrian Cordova y Quinoz and Nick Silvestri of Notre Dame in the Division II final. The duo won a 4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) thriller over the second seed.

Gardner was part of a doubles team a year ago that lost to Cordova and Carstens in the semifinals as the Notre Dame pair went on to win the state title.

The Falcons duo claimed the final four points of the third set tiebreaker.

“My legs feel like noodles right now,” Rasmussen said after the match. “But it’s such a big moment, you just push through it. You just have to keep going.”

In Division III, top-seeded Max Schell of Goodyear Estrella Foothills won his third straight state title, beating David Strong of St. Gregory 6-2, 6-0. Schell also beat Strong in the semifinals the two previous years.

This year, Strong, the No. 2 seed, beat third-seeded Delaney Harbin of Phoenix Christian 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 in the semifinals.

But Schell used his powerful serve and baseline game to dominate Strong. 

“He’s a really solid player,” Strong said. “I wish I had done better, but his forehand is big. He was consistent today. He was just a better player today.”

Thatcher’s top-seeded doubles team of Nathan McMaster and Reed Goodman successfully defended its state title with a 6-2, 6-3 win on Saturday over second-seeded Davis Towne and Camron Vick of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. The Lions pair reached the semifinals a year ago, but couldn’t get over the hump against the Thatcher duo.

“It was good to play against a level like that,” Towne said. “It was very good competition for us.”

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