The Catalina Foothills boys and girls tennis teams both capped undefeated seasons with Division II state championships.
The girls won in dramatic fashion, edging No. 1 ranked Notre Dame Prep 5-4. The contest came down to the final doubles match, as Noelle Karp and Kirtana Bhat came from behind to beat Natalia and Alexia Lombard 11-10. The Notre Dame duo had five chances to win the match, but each time the Falcon team fought them off.
Bhat and Karp did their part in singles play as well. The Falcons top-two each beat one of the Lombardi sisters by identical 6-1, 6-2 scores.
The Falcon boys beat Salpointe 5-3 for their state title. Foothills won four of their six singles matches, meaning they only needed to win a single doubles match to win the title.
The team of Nate Rasmussen and Quinn Gardner won their doubles match 10-4 to lead the Falcons.
Rasmussen was challenged in his singles match, but after dropping the first set to Jack Amos 7-6, he rallied to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-1. Gardner, John Miller and Dalton Resig all won their singles matches in straight sets.
The Pusch Ridge boys team advanced to the Division III state championship, but fell to Thatcher 5-1. Davis Towne was the lone Lion to win his match.
Track and Field
The Catalina Foothills girls track team won the Division II state track and field championships, edging Cactus 52-45.
Mountain View was 16th.
Although the Pusch Ridge boys finished second at Division IV, they were 49 points behind state champion Arizona Lutheran Academy.
The Marana girls finished fifth in Division I, with Ironwood Ridge finishing 20th, while the Pusch Ridge girls were fifth at the Division IV level.
The Falcon girls won three state titles, while the boys won two. Both Falcon boys and girls won the 4x800 relays. Katie Izzo won the 800, while Emily Gerard overcame an injury two weeks ago to win the high jump. On the boys side Emilio Vasquez won the 800.
Two Pusch Ridge boys won state titles. Kyle Cajero won a title in the 800 and finished second in the 3200 meters, while teammate Josh Carollo won a state title in the triple jump.
After struggling in their first game of the postseason, Ironwood Ridge quickly figured things out and beat rival CDO 17-0 on Thursday. Just 48 hours earlier it took the Nighthawks 11 innings to beat Tucson High, but on Thursday everything clicked for Rich Alday’s squad.
The key to the win was an 11-run fifth inning. The Nighthawks combined big hits with uncharacteristically sloppy play by the Dorados. CDO surrendered 16 hits and committed six errors in the five-inning contest. Erin Rocker and Lexi Adelberg each hit home runs, for Rocker it was her third of the postseason.
Ironwood Ridge struggled in their first game, but rallied from a pair of four-run deficits to send the game into extra innings and eventually beat Tucson High 8-7 in extra innings.
CDO staved off elimination by beating Kellis High School 7-1 in the elimination bracket.
The Dorados trailed 1-0 after half an inning but scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up for good.
Marana won a pair of games as well last week. Casey Cadenhead tossed her second shutout of the postseason as the Tigers beat Greenway 4-0 to advance to the fourth round of the state playoffs. With the double-elimination format a lot can happen, but essentially the Tigers are in the same boat as Ironwood Ridge. Both teams are three straight wins from a state title, though other scenarios also exist.
24 hours earlier the Tigers upset No. 3 Yuma Kofa 14-4.
All three area boys volleyball team that qualified for the state playoffs were eliminated in the first weekend.
Ironwood Ridge was the lone team to win a match, beating Catalina Foothills 3-0 in the first round, but then fell 3-0 to host Chandler Hamilton in the second round.
Marana fell 3-0 to Chandler in the first round.