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2018 Palo Verde Girls Tennis Capsule

PALO VERDE

League: Class 4A Mountain

Head coach: Rick Coop, second season

2017 record: 14-1 (13-0 4A Sunset/first)

Returning letter winners: Fourteen

Top athletes: Shelby Graber (Sr.), Kaya Richardson (Sr.), Caroline Hsu (Jr.)

Outlook: The Panthers’ only loss last season came in a tiebreaker in the Sunset Region semifinals and ended a run of three straight state championships.

With 14 letter winners back, Palo Verde is set up for another big year.

“After a tough loss during the semifinals in the 2017 region tournament, Lady Panthers have been sharpening their skills in the offseason and have been eagerly awaiting their first match in the 2018 season, keeping in mind that they are one team with one goal,” Coop said.

Graber teamed with Isabella Shelton to win the Class 4A state doubles title last year.

“We are taking the season day by day at this point and are focusing on skills, effort and attitude,” Coop said. “ As always we will look to put our best student-athletes on the court that can meet this expectation on and off the court and can fulfill the Panther promise.

“We are looking forward to the challenges of the new season.”

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Audrey Boch-Collins, a junior from Clark, defeated Madison Smith of Coronado 6-0, 6-1 in the 4A girls state championship match at Bishop Manogue to become only the second girl in state history to win three individual state championships in singles.

Coronado, Palo Verde advance to 4A girls final

Coronado beat Faith Lutheran 10-5, and Palo Verde defeated Reno 11-7 on Thursday at Bishop Manogue in the Class 4A state semifinals.

Faith Lutheran tops Galena to reach semifinals

The Crusaders swept doubles in the first two rounds and led 9-3 before clinching the 10th point and summoning their reserves for most of the third round.