Brooke Swallow could have folded after falling behind 5-4 against The Meadows’ Taler Brazell on Thursday.
Instead, the Bishop Gorman freshman made a few veteran adjustments and helped the host Gaels defeat the defending state champion Mustangs 10-3 in a Sunset Region semifinal.
Swallow and Sarah Bessen each went 2-0 in singles as Gorman (11-1) advanced to its fifth Sunset final in six years.
“I was nervous because I knew that this match would help my team go to state,” Swallow said. “I felt like I had to do good, so I brought my all to this match.”
Swallow and Brazell were tied at 3 while Swallow prepared to serve at deuce before thunderstorms prompted Wednesday’s match to be suspended.
After resuming, Brazell ended a long rally when an arching shot landed inches outside the far corner to put Swallow up 4-3. The Mustangs senior used a strong serve and a backhand return to go up 5-4, but Swallow responded by consistently hitting across the court into each corner to break serve and rally for a 7-5 win.
The doubles team of Addie Gardner and Lexi Sorrentino finished 2-0, and Kelsey McMillan was 2-1 in singles for Gorman. McMillan’s second win gave Gorman its match-clinching 10th point, and the coaches agreed to halt play with five matches left.
Gorman coach Gordon Hammond said the depth in singles play will be critical when the Gaels face unbeaten Palo Verde in the Sunset Region finals at 2:30 p.m. Friday at The Meadows.
“It’s a huge step up. We have quite a force that is nice to have” in singles, Hammond said. “But it’s still going to be a challenge” against Palo Verde.
The doubles team of Anjali Daulat and Bhavana Janga was 2-0 for The Meadows (10-2), and Brazell went 1-1.
Palo Verde 12, Bonanza 6 — At Palo Verde, the doubles teams of Megan Randazzo and Sarah Sanders, and Jade Powell and Michaela Jackson each went 3-0 as the Panthers (12-0) completed a win over the Bengals (9-2) in a match that was suspended Wednesday due to rain.
Victoire Saperstein was 2-0 in singles for Palo Verde, which is bidding for its first region title since 2004.
Alison Matlovic and Brenda Aguilar each went 2-1 in singles for Bonanza.
Liberty 10, Green Valley 8 — At Coronado, Aphrah Brokaw went 3-0 in singles as the Patriots (11-1) built a 9-6 lead midway through the third round.
The Patriots will face Coronado in the region final at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.
Green Valley (6-4) advanced to face Liberty by finishing a 10-8 win over Eldorado (10-2) earlier Thursday.
Coronado 13, Liberty 5 — At Coronado, Mathew Dees was 3-0 in singles to help the Cougars (12-0) stay on track for their seventh straight region title with a win over the Patriots (9-3).
Bryden Baxter and Kai Carl were 3-0 in doubles for Coronado, which will meet Green Valley in the region final at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.
Green Valley 11, Foothill 7 — At Green Valley, the Gators (8-1) punched their ticket to the final by downing the Falcons (6-4).
Palo Verde 15, Bishop Gorman 3 — At Palo Verde, Tanner Berkabile and Ozzy Abraham went 3-0 in doubles as the two-time defending state champion Panthers (12-0) routed the Gaels (10-2).
Zack Surmacz and Rhett Bossund each went 2-0 in singles, and the doubles teams of Carter Safbom and Josh Kaplan, and Alex Karbowniczek and Richie Jackson each went 2-0 for Palo Verde.
Gorman’s Cody Miller was 2-1 in singles.
Centennial 11, Clark 7 — At Clark, Travis Beck and Lucas Lee each went 2-1 in singles as the Bulldogs (10-1) moved into the regional final by beating the Chargers.
The doubles teams of Brandon Fish and Casey Moses, and Dallin Johnson and Dakota Trombley each went 2-1 for Centennial, which will meet Palo Verde in the title match at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.
Kristofer Yee was 3-0 in singles for Clark (9-2).