Faith Lutheran freshman Kenny Dobrev was trailing Palo Verde’s Michael Andre 6-0, 4-0 when he exclaimed loudly mid-match: “C’mon Kenny! Get a point!”
Not against Andre, a junior, and seasoned tennis player who has been competing on a national level for 10 years.
Andre went on to defeat Dobrev 6-0, 6-0 to capture the Mountain Region boys singles title Friday at Bishop Gorman.
Using his a powerful first serve and an overwhelming forehand, Andre dominated Dobrev, who on many occasions simply could return the top seed’s serves.
“It’s only his first year playing high school tennis, but he’s in the region final, he’s got three more years to go after this,” said Andre, who lost just four games the entire region tournament. “He’s obviously a young guy, I don’t think he has as much experience as I do on the court. But he kept his head together, kept a good attitude, took it on the chin like a champ.”
Andre, who delivered six aces, was too much for his younger foe, allowing Dobrev just 17 points the entire match. Andre had three love games en route to his double bagel victory.
Andre also is competing in high school for the first time, as he didn’t play tennis his freshman or sophomore years. He played quarterback for Liberty’s freshman football team before transferring to Palo Verde. He worked on his game with his private coach during his sophomore year and competed at high-level tournaments nationwide.
“My goal at the start of the season was to come in and win a ring for my team and win a ring for myself,” Andre said. “We’re moving closer to that. State is coming up so we have to perform again there.”
Bonanza’s Levon Grigoryan was too much for Centennial Justin Madsen in the third-place match, winning 6-2, 6-4.
In boys doubles, Palo Verde’s Axel Bottielli and Jack Kostrinsky won the title with a hard-fought match over Bonanza’s Blake Kasday and Chase Kasday, 7-6(6), 6-3. Max Blum and Stephen Dobrev, from Faith Lutheran, won third place with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Palo Verde’s Ben Waid and Harrison Rath.
On the girls side, Faith Lutheran’s Mira Filiberti defeated Bonanza’s Rachel Wurmbrand to win the singles championship. Centennial’s Caroline Hsu took third place with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Palo Verde’s Caroline Hsu.
Palo Verde’s Kaya Richardson and Roxanne Okano took first place in girls doubles after beating teammates Shelby Graber and Mia Hatfield, 6-1, 6-2. In the third-place match, Faith Lutheran’s Kenadee Semenik and Jade Mayweather defeated their teammates Elyse Dulaine and Eleni Ciulla, 6-1, 6-2.