Tennis: I-Ridge's two pairs make winning hand

Baca-Domingo duo, Petford brothers are in quarterfinals
2012-04-27T00:00:00Z Tennis: I-Ridge's two pairs make winning handDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 27, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Ironwood Ridge doubles partners Cody and Alec Petford are brothers. Schoolmates Marissa Baca and Katrina Domingo frequently get mistaken for twin sisters because they look alike.

Relatives or not, one thing both doubles teams have in common is winning.

The two squads are the top seeds in the boys and girls Division II state doubles tournaments. They are both looking to advance to Saturday's semifinals and finals with quarterfinal wins today.

The Petfords are the defending Division II state doubles champions after beating their own teammates, Josh Taylor and Connor Spiegel, in the state final last season.

"They're the one-seed, so they're the favorite, which is a little bit different pressure from last year when they were a three-seed," boys coach Ryan Bias said.

Baca and Domingo lost in the Division II championship match to Catalina Foothills' Zaina Sufi and Sam Ruth, but girls coach Bill Little said they've become even more of a unit since then.

"Up at the state tournament people always ask, 'Are they twins?' or 'Are they sisters?'" Little said.

Here's a deeper look at the each of the dynamic duos:

Boys

• Who they are: Alec Petford, senior, and Cody Petford, junior.

• What they've done: They went undefeated in doubles play in the regular season and helped the Nighthawks beat rival Catalina Foothills during the regular season.

• How they got here: 1st round: bye; 2nd round: defeated Prescott 6-1, 6-3; 3rd round: defeated Phoenix Arcadia 6-1,6-3.

• My partner's biggest strength: "He's got a really good serve that sets me up really well at the net. And then he's really tall so he can reach almost anything." - Alec on Cody

• The hardest part of the state tournament: "The competition this year is a lot better, so even the first couple of rounds are tough matches. We didn't expect it to be quite so good, but we're ready." -Cody

Girls

• Who they are: Marissa Baca, junior, and Katrina Domingo, junior.

• What they've done: Aside from two losses to Catalina Foothills' Sufi and Rachana Bhat, Baca and Domingo were perfect this season. They finished 11-2.

• How they got here: 1st round: bye; 2nd round: defeated Yuma Gila Ridge 6-0, 6-0; defeated Phoenix Washington 6-0, 6-0.

• My favorite part of playing with my partner: "I like how with us we have so many different plays to incorporate into our game, and the other team just doesn't know what we're going to do. It's like we're messing with them, but it's really fun to use eight different plays and mix it up." -Baca

• The best part of doubles is: "I love the net; I wish in singles I could just start up at the net. With doubles you're up there 50 percent of the time. I love the intensity. I love the net, I can't stress it enough." - Domingo

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