Featured a clutch performance by boys No. 1 Alex Joseph
Girls team downed a vaunted program from Austin Vandegrift
The Grapevine tennis team pulled off a remarkable feat last week when it won the state team tennis championship for the second straight season.
The Mustangs completed in the Class 5A final against Austin Vandegrift and won 10-6 in a number of hard-fought matches that coach Ryan Gillen said made the victory that much more sweet.
“I thought we played very well,” Gillen said. “We played Texas High in the semifinals and came out and got off to a good start in doubles and that kind of propelled us into singles. Then in the finals, we as the number one team in the state played the number two team in the state, and we knew it was going to be dogfight all the way through. All we kept hearing was how strong their girls team was, and our girls came out and went toe to toe with them and really set the tone in doubles.
“We ended getting up 4-3 in the doubles, and once we were up 4-3, I knew my boys team could bring it home for us, because I felt we were stronger on the boys side than they were.”
The tournament was not without its drama, however.
“Alex Joseph, our number one player, was our clinching player,” Gillen said. “He was down a set, and then split sets, and they played a 10-point tie-breaker in the final set. He got up 9-4, and then gets a little nervous and it gets to nine all. Then he got the next two points to clinch for us.”
Gillen said it is a major coup for his team to have won back-to-back state titles.
“It’s huge,” Gillen said. “It’s so hard to do. It’s so hard to win one. The message all year long was that everyone is gunning for us. We’ve got a target on our back, because we were successful last year and won a state title. The hardest thing to do is not get complacent and to perform each and every time you go out to try and repeat ... once regionals came along, I could tell we were right where we needed to be and once state came along, we were at our peak performance.”
Gillen said his message for his team following the championship was pretty simple.
“You all earned this,” Gillen said he told his players. “We all deserve this, and let’s enjoy it, because there are not a whole lot of teams out there that can say, ‘Hey, we won back-to-back state championships.’”
Results for the tournament are below:
Alex Joseph (Grapevine) def. King Roy (Austin Vandegrift) 3-6, 6-2, 1-0(9)
Miha Valencic (Grapevine) def. Zach Delmonico (Austin Vandegrift) 6-3, 6-2
Alex Kubo (Grapevine) def. Nick Cusano (Austin Vandegrift) 6-3, 6-3
Tanner Putnam (Grapevine) def. Blaine Kanak (Austin Vandegrift) 6-2, 6-0
Jayce Kamdem (Grapevine) vs. Chris McKenzie (Austin Vandegrift) DNF
Tine Valencic (Grapevine) def. Arvind Venkatesan (Austin Vandegrift) 6-1, 6-2
Meghan O’Malley (Austin Vandegrift) def. Madison Cleff (Grapevine) 6-4, 6-4
Reilly Cleff (Grapevine) vs. Gabi Cusano (Austin Vandegrift) DNF
Tyler Duncum (Austin Vandegrift) def. Bella Bergman (Grapevine) 6-3, 6-0
Raillane Kamdem (Grapevine) vs. Charli Delmonico (Austin Vandegrift) DNF
Andi Stapper (Austin Vandegrift) def. Kali Hamilton (Grapevine) 6-1, 6-4
Samantha Wong (Grapevine) def. Danielle Cuteri (Austin Vandegrift) 6-0, 6-3
Alex Joseph & Alex Kubo (Grapevine) def. Zach Delmonico & Chris McKenzie (Austin Vandegrift) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0(4)
Tanner Putnam & Tine Valencic (Grapevine) def. Nick Cusano & Blaine Kanak (Austin Vandegrift) 6-1, 3-6, 1-0(8)
Adrian Sherwood & Arvind Venkatesan (Austin Vandegrift) def. Jayce Kamdem & Kevin Kamdem (Grapevine) 6-1, 3-6, 1-0(5)
Gabi Cusano & Meghan O’Malley (Austin Vandegrift) def. Reilly Cleff & Samantha Wong (Grapevine) 6-7(15), 6-4, 1-0(10)
Bella Bergman & Raillane Kamdem (Grapevine) def. Tyler Duncum & Andi Stapper (Austin Vandegrift) 6-2, 6-3
Kali Hamilton & Reilly Cornell (Grapevine) def. Charli Delmonico & Synclair Larson (Austin Vandegrift) 6-2, 4-6, 1-0(13)
King Roy & Danielle Cuteri (Austin Vandegrift) def. Miha Valencic & Madison Cleff (Grapevine) 6-2, 3-6, 1-0(5)
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/courier-journal/article45097476.html#storylink=cpy