Hunched over and leaning on her racket for support, Madison Foley looked like anything but a champion early in the second set Saturday.
But after rallying to post a memorable three-set win, there was no question the Faith Lutheran freshman had earned the right to be called one.
Foley battled back from the early deficit to post a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over The Meadows freshman Abbigail Klein in a 2-hour, 50-minute Division I-A Southern Region girls singles final at Bishop Gorman.
“It feels really good,” Foley said. “I knew I just had to dig deep and play to win.”
Klein came out strong, using an early break of serve to win the first set. Foley spent plenty of time between points behind the baseline looking for answers.
“I was just getting frustrated, I guess,” Foley said.
She appeared to find those answers and took a 5-0 lead in the second set before Klein rallied to make it interesting, closing within 5-3 before Foley held serve to square the match at a set apiece.
“She really took control of the first set, and I decided that I needed to take control,” Foley said.
Then it was Klein’s turn to begin to run, taking a 3-0 lead before Foley rallied to pull even at 5-5. Klein had three game points to go up 6-5, but Foley broke serve, then lost her own serve to force the tiebreaker. Foley built a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker and held on to end the day’s longest match.
By contrast, the boys singles match was over quickly. Clark sophomore Miko Pasimio was the final player to arrive at Gorman on Saturday, dangerously flirting with a delay of match penalty.
He had a good excuse, though, using the time to watch a Roger Federer-Gael Monfils match that served as inspiration.
“I watched about two hours of tennis this morning, and it rubbed off on me,” Pasimio said.
He made up for it by being the first Division I-A player to finish, taking the final nine games of his 6-2, 6-0 win over Tech junior Christian Valle.
Pasimio did everything well, and in several stages of the match appeared to be putting on a clinic, moving Valle around the court and forcing his opponent into mistakes.
“I just stayed within myself,” Pasimio said. “I knew I couldn’t go for too much. I prepared a lot; I’ve practiced a lot the last few weeks.”
The boys doubles final was guaranteed to go to Clark, as defending state champions Deric Pang and Chaitanya Ingle topped teammates Mark McCrary and Christian Ong 6-2, 6-1.
The Meadows’ Ava Frazier and Anuja Daulat outlasted teammates Samantha Gondy and Shalini Shah 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the girls doubles final.
The top four finishers in each flight advance to the state tournament, which begins Friday at Darling Tennis Center.
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5230.