Palo Verde deals Clark first defeat

Andrea Rathbun won only one singles match for Palo Verde’s girls tennis team Thursday afternoon.

It was more than the Panthers needed.

Palo Verde swept all nine doubles sets and added six singles points en route to a 15-3 win at Clark in a Sunset Region semifinal to hand the Chargers (12-1-1) their first loss of the year.

“We came into it knowing Clark was really good and kind of uncertain at how we’d do,” Palo Verde doubles player Sarah Sanders said. “Right from the get-go, when we won, that was a good starter.”

The Panthers (12-1) clinched the match after Rathbun’s 6-2 second-round win over Madee Pasimio and with a little help from a 5-1 advantage after the first round. Rathbun bounced back nicely after losing 6-3 in the first round to Clark’s Sharon Fang, leading to coach Jane Centrella’s “sheer joy” when she told the winner of the deciding match the good news.

Palo Verde advanced to the Sunset Region final, at 6:30 tonight at Darling Tennis Center against The Meadows, which defeated five-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman in the other semifinal.

The Meadows beat Palo Verde 12-6 in the regular season.

The doubles teams of Sanders and Megan Randazzo, Brittany and Kara Grandison, and Jade Powell and Zara Fewsmith all finished 3-0 for the Panthers, who also got a 3-0 showing from Victoire Saperstein in singles.

Saperstein dropped only one game all day, winning 6-1, 6-0, 6-0.

Natasha James finished 2-1 in singles for Clark.

■ The Meadows 14, Bishop Gorman 4 — At The Meadows, Austin McMillan, Amanda Brazell and Taler Brazell combined to sweep the nine singles sets as the Mustangs (12-0) knocked out the Gaels (10-3).

McMillan and the Brazell sisters each went 3-0 in singles, and the Mustangs’ doubles team of Anjali Daulat and McKay Novak also went 3-0.

The Meadows clinched the win in the second round, taking a 10-2 lead.

SUNRISE REGION

■ Coronado 16, Green Valley 2 — At Coronado, Gabby Smith and Paris Reese each went 3-0 in singles as the Cougars (11-2) ousted the Gators (8-5) to advance to meet Liberty at 5 p.m. today at Darling Tennis Center.

■ Liberty 12, Silverado 6 — At Liberty, Danae Ingwaldson was 3-0 in singles to lead the defending region champion Patriots (11-2) past the Skyhawks (9-4) and back to the final.

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