Boys and girls tennis were the first spring sports teams to represent Sedona Red Rock High School at an Arizona Interscholastic Association state-level competition.
A singles and doubles entry from each team competed at Glendale’s Paseo Racquet Center on Friday, April 21, and the boys competed as a team in the first round of the AIA Division III State Championship on Wednesday, April 26.
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The six-player team of seniors Leo Gonzalez and Javier Diaz, juniors Max Knaus and Tennyson Wilson, and sophomores Kai Zimmerman and Ian Krog traveled to Scottsdale Christian Academy for the team competition.
Entering as the No. 14 seed, the Scorpions were pitted against the No. 3 seed Spartans. They lost all of their singles matches, forgoing the doubles matches and falling 5-0 overall.
Zimmerman also competed in the Division III Singles State Championship. He was originally scheduled to play against a player from Thatcher High School, but ended up with a first round bye.
In the second round he was pitted against Arizona College Preparatory Academy senior Kesin Dolwani, the No. 2 overall seed, losing 6-2, 6-1.
“I was definitely trying my hardest and having fun,” Zimmerman said. “It was good practice just to see that level of play. He was one of the better teenagers I’ve ever played.”
In the doubles tournament, the relatively new partnership of Knaus and Gonzalez enjoyed a first round bye, too.
Their second round opponent was also from Arizona College Prep, freshman Hunter Tran and junior Tyler LeVoy, and eventually lost 6-3, 6-3.
“It was tough for sure, Arizona College Prep is one of the harder teams in the [division],” Knaus said. “We tried our best. For what it was worth, I think we did well.”
For the girls, junior Sarah Lynch fell in the first round to Chandler Preparatory Academy junior Vanessa Shin 6-1, 6-0.
The doubles team of freshmen Leilani Olson and Aria Harness was also knocked out in the first round, by Scottsdale Christian Academy’s duo of seniors Kate Lawrence and Courtney Sauder 6-2, 6-3.
The girls did not qualify for the team tournament.
“I would say this year was absolutely a building year,” Red Rock girls coach Claudette Laliberte said. “Last year we lost four seniors ... the freshmen and sophomores had to play better players. They got lots of great playing experience.”