Lineup gamble propels Green Valley to victory

Green Valley boys tennis coach Sean Emmerich had seen a lot of the Gators' matches go down to a tiebreaker.

The Gators were 4-0 in tiebreakers before Wednesday's Sunrise Region semifinal at Las Vegas High, relying on their doubles teams.

Rather than chance a tiebreaker finally going against his team, Emmerich "flipped a coin" and made a slight change to his lineup.

The gamble paid off.

Green Valley swept the nine doubles sets, and Caleb Camp and Alex Olvera each added a singles win Wednesday to lead the Gators to an 11-7 victory over the Wildcats.

Camp, who usually pairs with Trevor Bukovi in doubles, defeated Las Vegas' Zach Blanco 6-4 in his first set to give Green Valley (11-2) a 4-2 first-round lead and all the breathing room it needed.

"We needed to get that set in singles," Emmerich said. "I didn't know how good their doubles were."

Olvera added a 6-4 win over Blanco in the second set.

Green Valley's doubles team of Alex Zbiegien and Tristan McCord endured two marathon sets to finish 3-0.

The Wildcats' Steven Olsen and Corey Mathewson tested the Gators' duo before falling 7-5 in the second round, and Zbiegien and McCord defeated Levi Mackelprang and Adam Wittig 7-6 in a tiebreaker in the final set.

"Since we've been taking nine in doubles, we didn't want to drop a point in doubles," Emmerich said. "If we hadn't had that singles win, we would have needed to sweep the doubles -- we don't get the points in singles. We got the one set, and we were lucky to get another in singles. I knew that if we kept up our doubles, we'd be OK."

The doubles teams of Sterling Newman and Connor Opdyke and Jake Johnson and Trevor Bukovi also finished 3-0 for Green Valley, which will play Coronado in the Sunrise Regional final at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.

Andre Walls and Juan Garcia both went 3-0 in singles for Las Vegas (10-3).

■ Coronado 14, Foothill 4 -- At Coronado, Mitchell Smith and Sam Cohen each went 2-0 in singles as the five-time defending Sunrise champion Cougars (12-1) advanced to another region final.

Xavier Smith and Kai Carl went 2-0 in doubles for Coronado.

Foothill finished 9-6.


■ Palo Verde 18, Bonanza 0 -- At Palo Verde, the defending state champion Panthers (13-0) didn't drop a set en route to eliminating the Bengals (11-2).

Palo Verde's Pascal Nilsson and Fernando Sunago each went 3-0 in singles, and teammate Hadrein Saperstein was 2-0 in singles.

In doubles, Palo Verde's teams of Tanner Berkabile and Ozzy Abraham and Zach Bellon and Jeremy Mann each went 3-0. Zack Surmacz and Bruno Sunago went 2-0.

The Panthers will play Centennial for the Sunset Region title at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.

■ Centennial 11, Bishop Gorman 7 -- At Gorman, Drake Sacenti and Casey Moses went 3-0 in doubles as the Bulldogs (12-1) eliminated the Southwest League champion Gaels.

Travis Beck went 2-1 in singles for Centennial, and the doubles teams of Josh Arias and Brandon Fish and Greg Madsen and Dallan Johnson each went 2-1.

Cody Miller was 3-0 in singles, and teammate Kyle Del Rosario went 2-1 in singles for the Gaels (9-3). Gorman's Ryan Hidajat and Greg Ciucci were 2-1 in doubles.