Coronado tennis coach Luther Bohanan hasn’t had much reason to worry about his girls team this season.
With a solid starting nine players, the Cougars hadn’t met a serious test in a match all year entering Friday’s Sunrise Region final at Darling Tennis Center.
Still unbeaten, still relatively untested.
The Cougars swept their nine doubles sets in convincing fashion Friday en route to a 13-5 win over Liberty in the Sunrise final. Coronado (13-0) captured its eighth region title in nine years and will head to the state semifinals on Oct. 20. Liberty (11-2) will meet Palo Verde in a play-in match Oct. 17.
“I have nine pretty good tennis players,” Bohanan said. “I just told them to go out and play tennis and let your game show, and you should be OK. You still have to play the game.”
Coronado’s doubles teams played it particularly well Friday, dropping only five total games in the nine sets.
The teams of Marina Arriola and Kayla Tarlton, Sarah Pate and Allie Sanford, and Laura Chupinsky and Marlee Allison all went 3-0, including five 6-0 sets.
“I just told them to put the ball in play, make them hit balls,” said Bohanan, whose closest match this season was a 12-6 win over Liberty in league play. “I preach to them about consistency, putting the serves in and keeping the balls in play instead of trying to go for too much.
The Cougars’ doubles teams have been a strength all year.
“They play together and they know each other,” Bohanan said. “They know what each other’s strengths are and they play to that.”
Coronado also got at least one win from four singles players. Ashley Wao-Udin was 3-0 in singles, and Aphrah Brokaw went 2-0 in singles for Liberty.
Riding a streak of six consecutive Sunrise Region titles into Friday’s final against Green Valley, there appeared to be plenty of pressure on Coronado’s boys.
The Cougars, though, didn’t show it.
Matt Dees and Andy Durand each won their first two singles matches before sitting out the final round, and the Cougars built a 9-3 lead before finishing off a 13-5 victory over the Gators.
Coronado (13-0) won its seventh straight region title and eighth in the last nine years, and advanced to the state semifinals on Oct. 20. Green Valley (8-2) will meet Centennial on Oct. 17 in a play-in match.
“The kids don’t know any pressure,” Bohanan said. “I don’t think they realize it, but I feel the pressure because of the expectations. You still have to go out there and play.
“I get on them pretty hard. I know they can play, but I just want to get the best out of them.”
Coronado lost three of its top players before the season even started, seriously hurting their chances to repeat.
One didn’t return to the team for his senior year, another is attending a tennis camp in Florida, and the third sat out the season after a death in his immediate family.
“It says a lot about the other seniors who are here, that they came through with their leadership and their play,” Bohanan said. “I’m very proud of my seniors.”
Bryden Baxter and Kai Carl were 3-0 in doubles, and Stephen Boyd and Patricio Sanchez were 2-0 in doubles for Coronado. Patrick Crockett and Sebastian Sandquist went 2-1 in doubles.
Green Valley’s Alex Olvera was 2-1 in singles, and teammates Bryce Klabacka and Connor Opdyke were 2-1 in doubles.