Palo Verde tops Clark for Southern Nevada title

Updated October 6, 2018 - 10:48 pm

Palo Verde boys tennis coach Richard Coop didn’t quite now how to react to his team’s victory on Saturday morning.

Befitting, because the victory is the first of its kind.

The defending state champion Panthers rolled to a 13-5 win over Clark at Bishop Gorman to claim the first Southern Nevada boys tennis team championship — and perhaps, more importantly, the region’s bye in the six-team Class 4A state tournament, which begins Oct. 15.

“It’s nice to be first in something, right? That’s one for the record books for the city,” Coop said. “It definitely makes life a lot easier not having to worry about the (travel after the first round).”

Michael Andre was 3-0 in singles for Palo Verde (17-0). Jack Kostrinksy and Axel Botticelli both were 2-0 in singles, and the doubles team of Denim Richardson and Tyler Juhasz was 2-0 for the Panthers.

Richardson was pleased with how his team performed and said he’s looking forward to state tournament, which contests the semifinals and finals in Reno this year.

“We just came out here and finished business. We came out here knowing what we wanted to do,” Richardson said. “We kept the same focus. Same intensity.”

Simran Shah and Rahul Gupte were 3-0 in doubles for the Chargers (15-1), who played without three of their top players for undisclosed reasons.

Coop wasn’t concerned with Clark’s lineup, though, and is prepared for a possible rematch at state.

“We’re here to play tennis. We always put our best guys on the court,” he said. “It means a lot for our kids when they come out here every single day. It would be nice if other kids respected the same athletic sportsmanship. It is what it is. … All of (our players) were ready to go.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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