The Tempe City tennis tournaments came a little early this year.
It didn’t mean the intensity wasn’t in midseason form on Saturday when the area teams got together for the annual event.
The Corona del Sol boys edged Desert Vista at Mountain Pointe, while the Thunder girls won the top three singles titles and top two doubles championships to beat Corona del Sol and Mountain Pointe at Corona.
The tournaments, which are usually played sometime in April, produced some quality level of play usually reserved for the state tournament.
There were fist pumps, celebratory yells, high fives and tapping of rackets throughout Saturday’s finals.
“I’ve been doing this for nine years and this is the most emotional team I’ve had because they want to win so bad,” Thunder girls coach Angel Singer said. “They are really close and they don’t want to let their teammates down.”
The Thunder, undefeated in the regular season, didn’t have to worry about disappointing anyone very often on Saturday when Desert Vista won the top three singles championships and the top two doubles titles to tally 49 points for its second straight title. Corona was next at 37 and the Thunder had 34.
Melissa Kahn (No. 1), Yolena Carlon (No. 2) and Tori Kammerzel (No. 3) win singles titles, while freshman Sarah Tamburo was a runner-up at No. 5 singles.
Kammerzel had to earn it after she battled Mountain Pointe’s Rachel Mantlik for about two hours and 20 minutes.
In doubles action, Carlon and Kammerzel won No. 1 doubles. Kahn and Mikayla Mularoni won No. 2 doubles.
“We are getting to the meat of the schedule and it is a good time to be peaking,” Singer said. “We are trying to build on each match and this will set us up pretty well the rest of the way.”
The Pride had a good showing as well. They were just a few points behind Desert Vista heading to the doubles action, but fell short.
“We had a good tournament for the most part,” Mountain Pointe girls coach Rick Carter said. “We would have liked to finish stronger, but we showed we can play with them. We’d like another shot (at state).”
Larae Keso and Nila Sharma finished second at No. 3 doubles, while Mantlik and Jessica Fong were second at No. 2 doubles.
In singles action, the Pride’s ViAnn Pham finished second at No. 1 singles, while Mantlik was second at No. 3 singles.
On the boys side the finals were essentially Corona vs. Desert Vista as the two programs advanced to eight of the nine title matches and met head-to-head seven times with the Aztecs winning six of the matches.
Consequently, Corona won the event with 39 points to the Thunder’s 34. Marcos de Niza was third with 27 followed by Mountain Pointe (17) and McClintock (17) and Tempe (13).
Desert Vista’s two champions were Josh Caballero at No. 3 singles and Tommy Mai at No. 5.
The runner-ups were Yusef Saleem (No. 1 singles), Aditya Ballom (No. 2) and Alex Cook (No. 4) in singles action, while the combos of Saleem/Caballero (No. 1), Bollam/Daniel Han (No. 2) and Cook/Mai (No. 3) were second in doubles.
All in all it was a good weekend for the area. The medals and trophies that were earned were nice, but since the tournament came so early in the season the most important aspect probably was learning what work needs to be done in the weeks to come before the postseason.
“There were a lot of close matches that could have gone a different direction,” Singer said. “Those who lost hopefully we will be pushed to go get better and closed the gap.”
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