GLENDALE — David Strong of St. Gregory didn’t have to fight the elements for very long in the third round of the Division III state tennis tournament on Saturday.
He made quick work of Thatcher’s Logan McMaster, easily winning 6-0, 6-0, at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.
“I played well, I played smart; hopefully it will translate into next week,” Strong said. “I’m excited for it.”
Second-seeded Strong, who has lost to two-time state champion Max Schell of Goodyear Estrella Foothills in the semifinals the past two seasons, is on the opposite side of the bracket this year.
Strong faces No. 7 seed Tim Schlum of Fountain Hills in the Friday night quarterfinals at the Paseo center. Semifinals and finals matches will take place next Saturday in Glendale.
Conditions should be much different next week than on Saturday, when winds were gusting over 30 miles per hour.
“Earlier today was bad, but by my match I was pretty lucky,” Strong said.
No. 4 seed Jarod Bristol of Pusch Ridge also had an easy time advancing, sweeping Noah Baker of Desert Christian 6-1, 6-1.
Bristol faces Noah Linskey of Flagstaff Northland Prep in next week’s quarterfinals.
Alex Smallwood of Safford, seeded sixth, beat Sahuarita’s Grand Keele 6-2, 6-2 to reach the quarters.
In doubles, Davis Towne and Camron Vick of Pusch Ridge, who finished third a year ago but are the second seed in this year’s tourney, beat Aaron Hockaday and Andrew Miller of Miami, 6-3, 6-4, to advance.
Towne and Vick will face Marc Anthony Luna and Emilio Mendez of Bisbee.
Sixth-seeded Seth Buell and Derrick Wood of Desert Christian got past Robin Sommer and Eli Salay of Northland Prep, 6-3, 6-2.
Buell and Wood will face the No. 3 team of Andrew Guilliams and Steven Barrera from Benson.
“Play like we played today, talk to each other, communicate the whole time and I think we’ll be fine,” Buell said.
The Benson duo of Guilliams and Barrera are returning to the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year after beating Rito Ontiveros and Jun-Jun Diaz of Morenci, 6-2, 6-2.