Call it intuition. Or maybe just a lucky guess.
Whatever the case, The Meadows girls tennis coach Brett Hunter had a sneaking suspicion his team’s Sunset Region semifinal against visiting Durango on Thursday just might need more than the regulation 18 sets to decide.
It turns out, he was right.
After the teams played to a 9-9 tie through three rounds, the host Mustangs won four of the six tiebreakers to nip the Trailblazers 10-9 and advance to the regional final.
The Meadows (11-0) will face four-time defending state champion Bishop Gorman in a regional final at 2 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.
“We talked about how close this match would be all week and how it could come down to a tiebreaker,” Hunter said. “I’ve played a lot of tennis in my time, and that is the most nervous I’ve ever been. I can’t say enough about our girls. They come out every single week so hard, ready to go.”
The Mustangs won six of the nine singles sets, with Taler Brazell, Amanda Brazell and Katya Kulikova each going 2-1.
All three lost to Durango’s Alexis Garrett.
“There’s always going to be a little pain,” Garrett said, reflecting on her solid finish alongside her team’s loss. “But I feel great, and our team is holding its head up high. We represented ourselves well today; The Meadows is undefeated, after all.”
Durango (11-4) won six of the nine doubles sets, including a 3-0 effort from sisters Claire Melo and Andrea Melo and a 2-1 performance from Katy Moore and Jamie Dean to force the tiebreaker.
Amanda Brazell and Kulikova won their tiebreakers in singles, and the Mustangs also collected close wins from the doubles teams of Shilpa Daulat and Erika Mauban, and Jasmine Sharma and Gina Ma.
Garrett and the Melo sisters won tiebreakers for Durango.
Bishop Gorman 16, Palo Verde 2 — At Gorman, Ciera Cortney went 3-0 in singles as the Gaels (14-0) routed the Panthers (10-3).
Gorman’s doubles teams of Amanda Silvestri and Michelle Shoen, and Caroline Engs and Taylor Larreau both went 3-0.
In the Sunrise Region:
Coronado 15, Green Valley 3 — At Coronado, Lea Cohen and Jonelle Espinoza went 3-0 in doubles to help the Cougars (11-1) advance to the region final by downing the Gators (9-4).
Liz Gibbons and Casey Thevenot went 2-0 in doubles for Coronado, and teammates Natalie Schibrowsky and Marian Gapultos were 1-0 in doubles.
Green Valley’s Alyssa Boman was 3-0 in singles.
Liberty 14, Silverado 4 — At Liberty, Sarah Lucas and Erika De Los Santos went 3-0 in doubles as the Patriots (15-0) topped the Skyhawks (10-3).
Liberty will meet Coronado in the region final at 2 p.m. Friday at Darling Tennis Center.