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Hard-working Meadows tennis squads eye Sunset

Four-letter words are rarely looked upon kindly in high school, but The Meadows School’s tennis teams swear by one that has served them well.

Work.

“The key is just our work ethic,” sophomore Evan Roth said. “We put a lot of hard work in and condition ourselves for the long matches.”

For the second straight year, the Mustangs are sending their boys and girls teams to the Sunset Region playoffs. The boys quarterfinals in the Sunset and Sunrise regions are at 2:30 p.m. today at host sites. The girls quarterfinals are at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at host sites.

“We’ve been working really hard as a team together and trying to make each other better,” said sophomore Amanda Brazell, who with sister Taler leads the Northwest League champion Mustang girls (10-0) into action at home against Spring Valley (7-4).

By far the smallest school by enrollment in the tournament, The Meadows hasn’t let size deter it from success.

“We do have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder because not only are we small, but we’re a private school going against the public schools,” said Roth, who will play today when the Mustang boys (7-3) visit Bonanza (10-1) in a quarterfinal. “It just motivates us to work harder.”

The boys had a chance to be the Northwest’s No. 1 seed, but The Meadows lost to defending state champion Palo Verde in the final regular-season match and settled for the league’s No. 3 seed.

The Meadows boys won a quarterfinal match in the region last year before bowing out, but this team might be stronger thanks to several players honing their skills in tournaments and a closer bond among teammates.

“Everyone has to play well just to get in the lineup,” boys coach Omar Garcia said. “It’s not just hard work, and not just tennis, but you have to be willing to be a part of the team. You have to be a good supporter.”

The Meadows girls advanced to the region final last year before losing to Bishop Gorman, the five-time defending state champion. Like the boys, the Mustang girls are deeper this year and have last year’s experience to draw upon.

“We have a better chance now,” sophomore Taler Brazell said. “We’re better in pressure situations.”

Today’s other Sunset boys quarterfinals are: Spring Valley (7-4) at Northwest champion Palo Verde (11-0); Clark (10-2) at Centennial (10-1); and Faith Lutheran (8-4) at Southwest champion Bishop Gorman (8-2).

In the Sunrise Region, today’s boys quarterfinals are: Liberty (8-3) at Northeast champion Las Vegas (9-2); Valley (9-2) at Green Valley (9-2); Foothill (8-5) at Chaparral (8-3); and Eldorado (6-7) at Southeast champion Coronado (10-1).

In Tuesday’s other Sunset girls quarterfinals, the matchups are: Centennial (7-4) at Gorman (7-3); Durango (9-3) at Palo Verde (10-1); and Faith Lutheran (7-5) at Southwest champion Clark (11-0-1).

The Sunrise girls quarterfinals are: Green Valley (7-4) at Northeast champion Las Vegas (9-2); Valley (7-4) at Coronado (9-2); Silverado (8-3) at Canyon Springs (10-1); and Rancho (5-5-1) at Liberty (9-2).

The boys semifinals in both regions are at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and the girls semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, all at host sites. All region final matches will be Friday at Darling Tennis Center.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230.

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