The spring sports season is upon us, and high school tennis teams are eager to hit the court in search of individual bests and team success. Here’s a preview of the local tennis talent we’ll see this spring.
The Arcadia boys team is looking to build on a 13-2 record from last season, which ended with an elimination in the first round of state. Playing in Division 2 Section 6, the Titans will have an action-packed schedule with 14 matches, including section matchups against St. Mary’s, Tempe, Coronado and McClintock.
They have wasted no time preparing for a season that started in late February, with teams hitting the court early to get on top of their training.
“It shows. The team does not look rusty and looks like they are mentally and physically ready for the season,” Coach Karen Fleissner said. “We’re actually playing quite a few different teams this year than we normally do, so I’m expecting some good competition and fun matches.”
The Lady Titans are also ready to pick up where they left off after an undefeated regular season run and a Division 2 state runner-up title in 2022.
Their campaign opened with Peoria, AZ College Prep, and Paradise Valley, with five straight section matches at the end of the regular season against Coronado, Betty H. Fairfax, Metro Tech, McClintock, and Saguaro.
Brophy Prep hopes to keep up the momentum after their memorable performance last year, winning first place in Division 1.
“Our first goal is to defend our state championship and replicate our success in our out-of-state tournaments,” Coach Eric Chalmers said. “More importantly, though, I always hope our team ends the season as better friends and teammates than we did to start.”
The Broncos went undefeated 18-0 in last year’s regular season and are focused on sharpening their skills and staying healthy in hopes of dominating the division in 2023.
The 19-man roster is ready for tough section competition in Basha, Casteel, Chandler and Perry.
“I’m excited about this year’s team,” Chalmers added. “The guys have great energy and know how to balance having fun and being focused.”
The Falcons are eager to return to the playoffs after the boys ranked third and the girls came in fourth in their region last season.
“The goal for the team this season is what it has been every season – to secure a place in state and to make it further than we did the year before. Although winning might be one end result, Coach Peter Townsend and I still hope to build lasting friendships among all of our players,” Coach Lisa Townsend said.
She explained that the strength of the student athletes is the ability to adapt.
“With the challenge of their school workload and extracurricular activities outside of just tennis, they show up every day with a smile, ready to tackle the drills of the day and prepare for our next opponent,” Townsend said. “We are Veritas Prep athletes and would love to win every match. But to do so, we will not compromise our high standard of great sportsmanship and team comradery.”
Playing in Division 3 Section 5, Veritas will face Valley Lutheran, Cicero Prep, BASIS Phoenix, Rancho Solano Prep, Lincoln Prep, and Scottsdale Prep.
After a 13-1 regular season and a second-place finish at state last year, the Gators are motivated to take the court and win this spring.
“Being in the Premier division, we have good competition from Desert Mountain, Hamilton and Chaparral – to name a few,” Coach Joy Rodey said. “Our preseason always brings about excitement and a few nerves and wondering how it all will come together.”
While the varsity squad sets its sights on playoffs at the end of April, the coaches focus on providing a positive and fun team sport environment.
“Our team’s strengths and challenges are the same, as we have a young team, but that gives us an opportunity to grow together and improve for next year,” Rodey added.