The Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks girls’ tennis team added to an already successful season by defeating the Mountain View Mountain Lions 9-0 on April 11. The win came without Ironwood’s number one ranked Sara Brown, who will return before the Nighthawks look for redemption against Catalina Foothills on April 19. Foothills is the only team to beat the Nighthawks so far this season.
“We weren’t happy about how that game went,” said Ironwood head coach Bill Little. “We’re hoping for a different outcome next time, and we will be playing on our home court.”
In singles play against the Mountain Lions, the Nighthawks won all six of their matches by a wide margin. Mountain View head coach Danielle Schroeder said her Mountain View team is a no-cut team, meaning everyone who tries out is allowed to compete.
“We’re really focusing on growth,” she said. “We like to see athletes who started playing as freshman continue to play until they are seniors, and hopefully make tennis a lifelong sport for them.”
Winning their singles matches for the Nighthawks were Marissa Baca over Katelyn Loomis 6-0, 6-0; Katrina Domingo over Kamryn Stichter 6-1, 6-0; Kelsey Brown over Sami Werts 6-0, 6-0; Alex Prassas over Stacie Tomlin-Brown 6-0, 6-0, Stephanie Nickles over McKenzie Dryden, 6-1, 6-1; and Madeleine Stoll over Maddie Hricik 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles play, the Nighthawks kept the Mountain Lions scoreless, with Baca/Domingo defeating Loomis/Stichter 8-0; Prassas/Erica Harris defeating Katie Christopher/Casey Morinelli 8-0; and Amanda Betten/Danielle Beer defeating Vanessa Estrada/Ashleigh Sill 8-0.
Little said in his eleven years of coaching, this year makes for one of, if not the most talented and determined team he has seen come through Ironwood’s tennis program.
“We’ve always had winning teams,” he said. “But I’ve never seen one as competitive as this.”
Little said he believes next year, as the team matures in age and ability, the team will be even better.
Currently, Sara Brown, Baca, Domingo, and Kelsey Brown are four of the top ranked tennis players in Southern Arizona.
Baca and Domingo, who took runner-up in state doubles play last year, are looking to return this year stronger than ever and take down the title.
The duo, who have been playing since six years old and nine years old respectively, have devised a new, confidential strategy which they would not disclose.
“Coming soon to a match near you,” joked Baca.
On a more serious note, they did mention a few adjustments to be made in their path to state.
“We are looking to pick up the intensity on the court,” said Domingo. “We want that title this year.”
“We’re also looking to have more fun out there,” said Baca. “Last year we were a bit too serious and it hurt us.”
Sara Brown will be looking for a state title for the Nighthawks in singles play.
With the win, the Nighthawks advance to 9-1 on the season.