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I-A TENNIS: Sierra Vista freshman Mitchell exceeds expectations, wins girls singles final

Averiana Mitchell never expected her first high school tennis season to be a smashing success.

Anyone who has seen the Sierra Vista freshman play, though, was certain she would flourish.

Mitchell put on an exhibition Monday, breezing to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Faith Lutheran sophomore Madison Foley in the Division I-A Southern Region girls singles final at Darling Tennis Center.

“I didn’t expect to have success,” Mitchell said. “I knew there would be more competition, and I didn’t think I would make it this far. Now I feel like I can accomplish anything.”

Mitchell controlled the match from the opening serve, using punishing topspin groundstrokes and hitting nearly every cross-court angle.

“I just tried to stay positive and work on not making any errors,” Mitchell said. “Most girls hit flat shots. There are not many who hit with that much spin.”

She rattled off the first nine games of the match before Foley, who won the girls singles region title last year, finally broke through.

Mitchell, who had two unforced errors on forehands in the 10th game, recovered to win the final three.

“She’s the best player I’ve had, boys or girls, since I’ve been coaching,” said veteran Sierra Vista coach Arlene Kam.

The top four finishers in each flight advance to the Division I-A individual state tournament, which begins Friday in Truckee, Calif.

In the boys singles match, Clark freshman Michael Pasimio continued a family streak by winning the region title with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-0 win over Spring Valley senior Eric Clark.

Pasimio’s older brother Miko won the last two region and state singles titles, but opted not to play high school tennis this year.

Michael Pasimio was up a service break in the second set and appeared to be cruising to victory, but Clark rallied to win the final four games of the set and force a third set.

But Pasimio refocused and rattled off the final six games.

“I just got back to the basics,” he said. “I got my first serve percentage up, and I didn’t make stupid mistakes.”

Clark’s Chaitanya Ingle continued his run of domination in doubles, winning his third straight Southern Region title, this time with partner Marcus Pasimio.

Ingle, who won the state title each of the last two years with Deric Pang, teamed with Pasimio to beat fellow Chargers Christian Ong and Justin Ong, 6-1, 6-0.

The Meadows’ Samantha Gondy and Shalini Shah got a measure of redemption Monday, winning the girls doubles title a year after finishing second. Gondy and Shah beat Mustangs’ teammates Olivia Waysack and Audrey Grigore, 6-2, 6-4.

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