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Freshmen fuel Cougars boys, Gaels girls

RENO – Jack Vance and Jamie Vance weren’t counted on to be heroes Friday.

The Coronado freshman brothers were expected to win a point or two and hopefully help their teammates finally get over the hump in the boys state tennis tournament.

They did much more.

The Vances swept their three doubles matches and won their tiebreaker game in the extra round to help the Cougars to a 10-9 win over Palo Verde in the Division I final at Caughlin Athletic Club.

“They played tremendously well under pressure, and that’s a lot to be under for a couple of freshmen,” said Coronado coach Luther Bohanan, whose team won four of six tiebreakers to secure its first state crown. “To be honest, I expected them to win two, but for them to do a clean sweep was awesome.

“If they hadn’t won four, we probably wouldn’t be state champions.”

Coronado (15-0), which also got a strong effort by junior Sam Cohen in singles, snapped a streak of four straight losses in state championship matches. The Cougars entered this year’s tournament having reached the finals five times in six years, coming away empty.

Cohen’s tiebreaker against Palo Verde’s Ozzy Abraham was the last to finish, with a crowd of more than 100 surrounding the court, anticipating a celebration.

“I told Sam, ‘You have to drown out all the noise, and when you’re out there, you have to just play it point by point. It’s just about you and the ball; everything else you just tune out,’ ” Bohanan said. “And that’s what he did.

“Between Sam and my two freshman boys, what can I say? They carried the team today.”

Cohen, who won his first two sets before falling to Trevor Johnson 7-5 in the third round, rebounded on two bloody legs and sore arms for a 9-7 victory.

Ryland McDermott and Sam Grant went 2-1 in doubles for Coronado.

Johnson was 3-0 in singles to lead Palo Verde (15-1).

GIRLS

Amber Del Rosario and Monika Ryan haven’t spent much time together as a doubles team. That didn’t stop the Bishop Gorman freshmen from fashioning a perfect day and helping their team to the Division I state championship.

Del Rosario and Ryan went 3-0 as the Gaels nipped Coronado 10-8 in the title match at Caughlin Athletic Club.

The Gaels (15-0) won eight of nine doubles sets, but Del Rosario and Ryan going 3-0 was a bit of a surprise.

“We put Amber with Monika together, and Amber is usually in the No. 2 singles spot, so they hadn’t played together a lot,” Gorman coach Gordon Hammond said. “For them to win all three of their matches, including the crucial first round against Coronado’s No. 1 doubles team as freshmen, it just shows they’re very mature.”

Taylor Larreau and Morgan Matley went 3-0 in doubles, and Julia MacDonald and Marisol Arvilla were 2-1 in doubles for the Gaels.

“They almost swept us in doubles because their teams were outstanding,” Coronado coach Luther Bohanan said. “When doubles didn’t do very well for us, that’s where we lost.”

Sisters Marina Arriola and Olivia Arriola claimed the Cougars’ lone doubles win, in a third-round tiebreaker.

Hammond loaded his doubles teams, leaving Chelsea Crovetti to carry most of the load in singles. Crovetti won two of her three sets.

Samantha Smith was 3-0 in singles, and Paris Reese and Nicole Gardner each went 2-1 for Coronado (14-1).

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