Bishop Gorman’s boys haven’t been to the state tennis tournament since 2003.
Not even a group that calls itself the Magnificent Seven could stop the Gaels on Monday.
Using a 2-0 effort from Dylan Leavitt in singles, Gorman defeated Liberty, 11-7 in the state play-in match at Darling Tennis Center.
The Gaels (14-1) will make their first trip to the state tournament in a decade when they meet Coronado (16-0) at 11 a.m. Thursday at Darling. The Patriots (10-6) came close to making their first state appearance, despite having only seven players on their roster.
“The kids worked hard, and they met the goal for this season,” Gorman coach Craig Witcher said.
Sam Sholeff and Skylar Davidson each went 2-1 in singles for Gorman, which technically started the match with a 3-0 lead as Liberty doesn’t field a No. 3 doubles team.
“They stayed pretty focused, and they didn’t take it for granted that they were going to win,” Witcher said. “They finished second on the Sunrise side, and you don’t finish second unless you are very good. We didn’t take them lightly.”
Still, the Patriots got five points in doubles as Tristan Hoyle and Matt Drongensen went 3-0, and teammates Al Gourrier and Joakim Kahn were 2-1.
Dylan Ihmels went 2-1 in singles for Liberty.
Gorman’s girls made it a sweep Monday, grabbing a 9-3 lead after two rounds on their way to a 12-6 win over Green Valley.
The defending Division I state champions will make their eighth trip to the state tournament in the past nine years and will face Coronado (12-4) in the semifinals at 8 a.m. Thursday at Darling.
Chelsea Crovetti and Amber Del Rosario each went 3-0 in singles for the Gaels (14-1), who won seven of the nine singles sets. Crovetti’s third set finished within seconds of the end of the second round of doubles play, and gave Gorman its clinching 10th point.
“Chelsea was ready right off the bat,” Gorman coach Gordon Hammond said. “We just did what I was hoping we would do.”
The doubles teams of Julia MacDonald and Marisol Arvilla, and Monika Ryan and Zoe Lier each went 2-0 for Gorman.
Tasha DeWitt was the only Green Valley player to win twice, teaming with Erica Shelton in the second round of doubles, and Sophie Arrowsmith in the final round. The Gators finished 13-2.