SCOTTSDALE - The Salpointe Catholic boys tennis team will play in today's Division I state championship after sweeping Chandler Hamilton on Friday to remain perfect in the postseason.
After going 10-0 in the playoffs at home, the Lancers took their show to Scottsdale Ranch Park. Led by freshman No. 1 Yash Parikh and senior No. 2 Tyler Linscott, Salpointe cruised to a 5-0 win over Hamilton.
Parikh set the tone, making quick work of Hamilton's Andy Nguyen 6-1, 6-3.
After winning his first match 6-2, Linscott faced a 3-0 deficit before running off six straight wins to end any chance Andy Yuwen had at a comeback.
"He had some good serves and I wasn't moving my feet well," Linscott said. "After 3-0, I began moving better again and started coming to the net."
His match in the books, Linscott joined Parikh to cheer on No. 3 Andrew Dunn, who found himself in a match that took nearly two hours to decide. With wins by No. 4 Brandon Gerber (6-4, 6-2) and No. 5 Jack Amos (6-3, 6-1), and No. 6 Joe Lucker losing (6-3, 4-3), Dunn's match determined the final team score.
"It was a grind," Dunn said of his 6-5, 6-4 victory. "I kept telling myself stay confident, don't be tentative. It came down to just a couple of shots that I had to make and I got the better of them."
Salpointe will face top-seeded Phoenix Brophy Prep at 11 a.m. at Paseo Racquet Center for the title.
"Last time we played them, we didn't win a match. But we had four close ones," Parikh said. "If we can do that again, we should have a good chance."
Having already upset the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds to make the semifinals, the No. 13 Salpointe girls ran out of gas against top-seeded Phoenix Xavier Prep, losing 5-0.
"I couldn't be more proud of these girls," Lancers coach Theresa Gibson said. "They played very hard."
Winning just one set between them, the No. 2 through No. 4 players exited early, leaving No. 1 Caroline Amos and a pair of freshmen, Carly Lowry and Hailey Swanson to make a match of it.
Having lost the first set 6-4 and down 3-2 in the second, the sophomore saw her match called off when news reached of losses by Lowry and Swanson. Lowry lost 6-2, 6-3, while Swanson was defeated 6-3, 6-1.
"It was a fun season," Amos said. "I'm just glad we made it this far."