Coronado girls tennis coach David Willingham lauds his team’s depth.
But its talent at the No. 1 spots helps, too
Top singles player Hannah Grossman posted a 3-0 record, and the first doubles combo of Ava Nhaisi and Sidra Wohlmend also went 3-0 to lift the Cougars to an 11-7 victory over Faith Lutheran (16-5) in the Class 4A state semifinals Thursday at Darling Tennis Center.
“When you’re strong on top, it makes a big difference,” Willingham said. “It helps everybody else. It really relaxes it quite a bit … They had a great performance today.”
Grossman, a senior captain, said she gathered her team and offered some encouraging words before its biggest match of the season.
“Even if one of us doesn’t play well, we have our other players to fall back on,” she said.
That wasn’t necessary, and now Coronado (14-0) will play Bishop Gorman (16-1) for the Class 4A state championship on Friday morning.
The Gaels pulled out an 11-7 win over Reno in the other semifinal. Karissa Matthews and Lauren Soong buoyed Gorman with a 3-0 record in doubles, and Courtney Wolfson was 3-0 in singles.
Gaels coach Gordon Hammond said the tandem of Matthews and Soong — the No. 3 doubles pairing — was paramount to the team’s success, indicating “we’re pretty even” throughout the doubles.
“We stayed positive,” Matthews said. “We just kept each other going.”
Gorman and Reno were deadlocked 7-7 until the Gaels won the final four points. Hammond said playing a competitive semifinal should bode well for his players in the finals.
“It’s great to have more of a challenge,” Hammond said. “The next match, they could be more prepared. But I don’t know if anyone can be prepared for Coronado.”
Local powerhouses Boulder City (17-2) and The Meadows (17-1) took care of their opponents in the Class 3A state semifinals to set up a showdown for the state championship on Friday.
The Eagles rolled to a 14-4 win over Truckee thanks in large part to Tegan Pappas and Olivia Mikkelson, who each went 3-0 in singles play.
“They were able to dominate,” Boulder City coach Jami Pappas said. “Today was a confidence builder for the girls. They’re ready to go out and give their best tomorrow.”
The two-time defending champion Mustangs waltzed to a 15-3 victory over South Tahoe. Olivia Waysack and Lindsey Hofflander went 3-0 singles. Claire Strimling and Isabella Monroe posted a 2-0 mark in doubles.
“Strong singles, strong doubles. We’re ready for tomorrow,” Meadows coach Frideric Prandecki said. “Consistency, that’s what it’s going to take (to win the state championship).”
Contact reporter Sam Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.