Gorman girls win fourth straight state crown

Bishop Gorman’s girls could have wilted under pressure.

The three-time defending state champion Gaels could have been tight and played tensely Friday morning in the Class 4A state final.

Not even close.

Gorman won all six first-round matches, breezed to an 11-1 lead after two rounds and soundly defeated Galena, 12-6 at Centennial Park in Carson City.

“The girls were just ready, and we have enough depth,” said Gorman coach Gordon Hammond, whose team claimed its fourth straight state crown and 15th in the last 21 years.

How ready?

Singles players Sarah Toti, Anita Lee and Sarah Bessen each went 2-0, losing a total of only one game between them.

“They’re at a different level,” said Hammond, whose team advanced to the final with a 14-4 semifinal win over Reno on Thursday. “I thought Galena’s singles players were better than the ones we faced Thursday, but some of our girls just played their absolute best tennis today.”

The doubles teams of Allie Beckett and Blair Bigelow, and Amanda Silvestri and Ciera Courtney were also 2-0. They helped give Gorman an insurmountable lead after two rounds, which allowed all nine starters to rest during the third round.

Hammond inserted many of his younger and slightly less seasoned players to get state experience.

“It was huge for the whole group,” he said. “Everyone did their best.”

Gorman, which also won four straight titles from 1992-95, is two short of the girls state record of six consecutive titles, last accomplished by Valley from 1981-86.

“The girls are pretty excited. Some of them know the history,” Hammond said. “As a coach, maybe you don’t enjoy it as much as you should, but those are just numbers for people to add up. I’ve just been lucky.”

There aren’t any signs of the run ending soon, either.

Lee is a junior, Toti is a sophomore, and Bessen is a freshman.

Gorman has, arguably, the top three high school girls singles players in the state, and all three should return next year.

“We’re not thinking about that now,” Hammond said. “The girls are so happy. It’s what we work all year for.”

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