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The Sedona Red Rock High tennis team won its opening match of the season against Flagstaff High 8-1 for the boys and 7-2 for the girls March 1.
By Nick Ruland
Larson Newspapers
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The Sedona Red Rock High tennis team won its opening match of the season against Flagstaff High 8-1 for the boys and 7-2 for the girls March 1.

The Scorpions graduated a key group of seniors last year including twins Andrew Adams-Cecere and John Adams-Cecere, Skyler Hill, Keely Badger, Jessica Shreve, Daryl Rogers and Mike Dawe.

The team has a new look, especially on the girls? side.

Ayerin Gonzalez-Gamboa, a transfer student, has attained the No. 1 position.

?She has the best footwork on the team. She has good small steps and her strokes are very sophisticated. She has earned her position because she hasn?t lost yet,? Head Coach and U.S. Professional Tennis Association Master Professional Larry Lineberry said.

Behind Gonzalez-Gamboa will be new girls team captain and returning senior Kayla Karp.

?She is a very steady player,? Lineberry said.

Karp has a chance to be a vocal leader.

?I want to get the girls ready,? Karp said.

Karp?s improved strokes and serve will not only pay dividends on the court but will help her leadership credibility.

Behind Karp is German exchange student Madlen Monien at the third seed.

?She is very steady on the baseline and doesn?t make many mistakes. She is a very smart player who plays within her game,? Lineberry said.

Sara Beckwith returns from her sixth position last year to the fourth spot this season. Tori Talkington and Sonja Weder will fill out the fifth and sixth seeds. All three players may change throughout the year depending on intra-competition.

For the boys, stability rests on top of the ladder.

Luke Dumyahn returns after finishing third in state last year as a freshman.

Dumyahn will be difficult to beat in singles but could be used in combination with a range of teammates to help win key doubles matches throughout the season.

?I don?t see Luke losing any matches this year. I think Luke has a great chance at a state championship if he continues on the pattern he is on,? Lineberry said.

Dumyahn is a physically dominant player who often-times overpowers his opponents with his serve.

?With his big kick serve, at this altitude, no one is going to handle it,? Lineberry said.

Dumyahn?s biggest concern may be controlling his instinct to kill.

His nemesis, Joe Juliano, the returning 3A singles state champion from Seton Catholic High, remains Dumyahn?s lone rival.

Dumyahn has to be patient to overcome Juliano.

?I have to play more consistently and not go for the kill shots early in the point,? Dumyahn said.

Seton Catholic and Fountain Hills High, traditional rivals with SRRHS, appear to be the Scorpions? main competition again this season.

Behind Dumyahn will be Daniel Juda at the No. 2 seed. Juda took his junior year off to prepare for his senior year of swimming. His all-around athleticism should prevail over fundamental rustiness.

?He has a big, strong serve. He is the fastest guy on the team,? Lineberry said.

Fellow senior and third seed Nick Reynolds will work with Juda in doubles.

Behind them will be returnees Andy Swartwout, Graham Greenfield and twins Luke and Max Keckeis.

Many of the doubles teams remain to be set, while the singles ladder could be reconfigured throughout the year.

The Scorpions will host rival FHS on Monday, March 12.


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