Liberty senior Sarah Lucas didn’t start playing tennis “seriously” until her freshman year, when she wasn’t sure if she’d even make the team.
Four years later, Lucas helped the Patriots to their first Sunrise Region title in their first appearance in the regional final.
Lucas, Danae Ingwaldson and Aprah Brokaw each went 3-0 in singles in Liberty’s 13-5 win over Coronado on Friday at Darling Tennis Center.
“We’ve never been this far as a team,” Lucas said. “Just making it to regionals was huge for us as a team.
“So many girls have come so far, me included. A lot of us seniors have grown a lot since our freshman year.”
Liberty’s other fourth-year seniors are Erika Delos Santos, Riki Aquino and Marlee Moi Moi.
“We have four seniors that started with me at Liberty, and they’re really paying dividends for us,” fourth-year Patriots coach Kih Gourrier said. “Those girls are our core.”
Liberty’s entire team contributed to the title, as Ashley Wao-Udin and Valerie Nesenhoener went 3-0 in doubles for the Patriots (16-0).
“Coronado has great doubles teams, and my doubles teams stepped up and came through for us today,” Gourrier said.
The teams of Lea Cohen and Jonelle Espinoza and Liz Gibbons and Casey Thevenot each went 2-1 in doubles for the Cougars, who fell to 11-2, with both losses to the Patriots.
Liberty advances to the state semifinals, set for Oct. 22 at Darling Tennis Center.
Coronado will face The Meadows on Oct. 19 at Darling Tennis Center, with the winner gaining the third berth to state from Southern Nevada.
Bishop Gorman 12, The Meadows 6 — Sarah Bessen lost only one game while going 3-0 in singles to lead the four-time defending state champion Gaels (15-0) to victory over the Mustangs (11-1).
“The matches were a lot closer than the score,” said Bessen, a sophomore who teamed with senior Anita Lee last season to win the state doubles title. “They had tough players, but I just tried to be really focused today.
“It was a really good win for us. It’s good to set a bar going into the state competition.”
Anita Lee, who won the state singles title as a sophomore, went 2-1 in singles, and all three of Gorman’s doubles teams went 2-1: Caroline Engs and Taylor Laurreau, Blair Bigelow and Michaele Sullivan and Michelle Schoen and Amanda Silvestri.
Shilpa Daulat and Katya Kulikova went 3-0 in doubles for The Meadows, and Taler Brazell went 2-1 in singles.