Updated October 29, 2021 - 7:31 pm
When Faith Lutheran opens its new tennis facility in December, it will have a fresh state championship banner to christen it.
The Crusaders edged Palo Verde 10-8 in a back-and-forth Class 5A boys championship match Friday at Bishop Gorman for their first title in program history.
“We had a good group of seniors that had good experience in match play and tough situations,” Faith Lutheran coach Jeff Foley said. “Our captains are really good leaders and cheerleaders for everybody, and I think it came down to that team camaraderie. They lifted each other up. It was an amazing match.”
The Crusaders weren’t able to make it two titles, as Palo Verde took a 13-5 win in the girls title match.
Faith Lutheran has had its home base at the Darling Tennis Center, which Foley calls a “great place to play,” but he’s excited to have a place on campus to call home.
Nicco Ripamonti and Stephen Dobrev went 3-0 from their No. 1 doubles spot, and Kenny Dobrev was 3-0 in singles. That put sophomore Nolan Dubay in position to put the final point on the board for the Crusaders, who finished the season undefeated and denied Palo Verde its fifth straight state title.
“Nolan is a sophomore, so that was a great win for him,” Foley said. “This was the boys’ first time in the final, and it was an amazing win over a great team. We were up, we were down, and it was a tight match throughout, the way a championship match should be.”
The girls match wasn’t nearly as tight.
Palo Verde coach Tyler Marchant didn’t even use his starters for the first round, but the Panthers came out of that even and dominated the second and third rounds with five points apiece to come away with the win.
Palo Verde won its sixth girls state championship and backed up the title it won in 2019. The Panthers did so without their best player, Caroline Lemcke, who was on a college visit.
“The depth on this team is insane,” Marchant said. “I tell them all the time I’m grateful for them because I don’t have to stress about their matches. I know they’re going to go on the court and take care of business.”
The Basic boys defeated Silverado 11-7, and its girls edged Sierra Vista 10-8 to sweep the 4A titles on their home courts. Both titles are the first in program history for the Wolves.
Boulder City beat The Meadows 10-8 to win the 3A boys title, and The Meadows girls dominated Truckee 15-3 to sweep the 3A crowns at Liberty High. It’s the fourth straight state championship and seventh overall for the Boulder City boys and the sixth straight and ninth overall for The Meadows girls.
The individual singles and doubles championship matches will be played Saturday.