Saturday was Alex Curtis’ turn to play No. 6 singles for the Brophy tennis team.
He usually rotates with a teammate at the position for coach Bill Woods. It just so happened that Saturday was the Division I state title match between the Broncos and Desert Mountain.
Curtis’ singles match will go down in Brophy lore as one of the more remarkable in school history. In a match that went 3 hours, 45 minutes, Curtis outlasted the Wolves’ Mitchell Victor, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
In was the match that clinched Brophy's third state title in the last four years, as the Broncos outlasted Desert Mountain, 5-1.
“Longest match of my life,” Curtis said.
In the grueling heat, Curtis, not only had to endure Victor, but also cramps in both legs. He came close to having to retire and hand the match over to Victor.
“The ref asked me if I wanted to call it quits and I told him I was going to make that kid beat me before I was going to end that match,” Curtis said. “I’ve never cramped in my life. It was my calves, my hamstrings and my quads. It was a first for me.
"It started at the beginning of the third set and I tried to keep playing through it. It was a new feeling for me and it wasn’t a good feeling, but it was worth it.”
Curtis became the hero of a Bronco teams that was had beaten Desert Mountain, 5-4, during the regular season. Even though this match didn’t go to doubles, Woods called Saturday’s match closer than the one they played in the regular season.
The Broncos got a big win at No. 1 singles from Hudson Blake who beat C.J. Krimbill, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. They also got a three-set victory from freshman Christian Franco at No. 3 singles. He beat Jason Auh, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Even the No. 2 singles match was close, with Brophy’s Zach Cihlar beating Desert Mountain’s Ian Glessing, 7-5, 7-5.
Division I girls
The ratio to state championship trophies to runner-up trophies had been trending in the wrong direction for Xavier.
The Gators got back to business as usual on Saturday claiming the Division I girls team tennis title at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale. No doubles were needed as Xavier took little time in ousting big-school defending-champion Scottsdale Chaparral with a score of 5-0.
Always one of the dominant programs in Arizona, the Gators had gotten in the habit of finishing second. They had done in it in four of the last five years.
Not on Saturday, as all six Gators finished off their singles matches in two sets. No Firebirds player was able to win more than three games in any of the matches.
No. 1 Madison Clarke won, 6-1, 6-0 over Mackenzie Nickerson; No. 2 Maggie Cohen won, 6-0, 6-0 over Alex Hoffman; No. 3 Emily Serrano won, 6-1, 6-0 over Ally Breece; No. 4 Scarlet Rush won , 6-3, 6-1, over Gabbie Chernyk; No. 5 Madison Majerle won, 6-2, 6-3 over Meredith Finn and No. 6 Kendra Mahoney won, 6-0, 6-0 over Sara Downye.
Division II Girls
Tucson Ironwood Ridge won its first state title in 10 years with a 5-4 victory over rival Tucson Catalina Foothills.
Ironwood Ridge got the victory thanks to victories in No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Sara Brown and Alex Prasses won at No. 2 doubles and Kelsey Brown and Stephanie Nickles won at No. 3 doubles.
Division II Boys
Cactus Shadows bid to get its first state championship since 2007 was stopped short as Ironwood Ridge completed the sweep of the girls and boys state titles at Division II.
Cactus Shadows did get singles victories from Jacob Hedderig and Joshua Hedderig.