For the first time since 2007, Salpointe Catholic's boys tennis team is the No. 1 seed in the 5A-I team state tournament.
Four years ago, the Lancers responded by winning a state title. On Thursday, they advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-1 win over Phoenix Desert Vista at Tucson Racquet & Fitness Club.
"The guys have kind of earned it, I think," said Salpointe coach John Condes of his team's ranking.
The Lancers last won a title as the No. 3 seed in 2008 - their last of five straight - but suffered consecutive semifinal losses the last two seasons.
Salpointe No. 1, Matt Dunn, set the pace Thursday with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Desert Vista's Karl Leclerc. Dunn and brother, Andrew, then earned a 10-1 win in doubles.
The Ironwood Ridge boys team suffered a disappointing 5-4 home loss to Goodyear Millennium on Thursday, spelling elimination from the 5A-II tournament.
The fourth-seeded Nighthawks split with No. 5 Millennium in singles, but lost two doubles matches, both by scores of 10-4.
The two-time defending state champion Salpointe girls squad rolled to a 5-0 win over Tempe Corona del Sol, easily earning a spot in next week's quarterfinals.
The combined score of Thursday's five singles matches: 60-7.
Still trying for its first team state title, second-seeded Ironwood Ridge advanced past No. 7 Anthem Boulder Creek 5-2.
Boulder Creek forced the match into doubles play, but the Nighthawks ended it when Amanda Coldren and Holly Thomson earned a quick 10-1 doubles win.