Thu, Nov. 14

Tennis team ousted in quarterfinal
4A II Boys Tennis Tournament

VVN/Wendy Phillippe

VVN/Wendy Phillippe

In a match that featured the top players in the 4AII division, the Marauders came up short, losing to Palo Verde in Tucson. The first team to win five matches moves on to the semis and Palo Verde won in a very close match.

Mingus knew it would be close and two close doubles matches went to Palo Verde to give them the win. Mingus was on track to win four of the nine matches, but it ends when one team wins five.

This year, the top six teams in state are all very even and it just depends on how the teams match up. It's unfortunate, because if Mingus could have gotten past Palo Verde, they matched up well with Notre Dame. Although, Notre Dame beat Mingus early in the season, they lost their number two player and that would have given Mingus the edge in a semifinal match.

Despite the quarterfinal loss, Mingus enjoyed one of their most successful seasons since coach Tim Kessel enjoyed several West Valley Conference titles in the early 2000's. This year, Mingus was co-champions in the Grand Canyon Region, which has featured two of the top teams in the state for the last four years.

Most notably, Mingus won it's first 4A II State Doubles title with Alex Lineberry and Paul Paradise. State Champions Lineberry and Paradise led the Marauders to a 12-4 season and a stellar doubles career that lasted two years.

Tanner Walz and Houston Sauer, two other seniors, figured heavily in the Marauder success. Both players won significant matches to help win part of the conference title and be successful at State.

"In fact, Tanner Walz was reaching a new level at the end of the season. In only his second year in tennis, he was making great progress in his game. He may have been the needed punch to beat Notre Dame had Mingus made it to the semis.,' said coach Jeff Knight. "On a positive note, three players will be returning next year along with a strong supporting cast."

Along with State Champion Alex Lineberry, conference runner-up Bobby Lee and the solid play of Andrew Hickey, Mingus looks to a promising season next year. There are also several JV players who will add to the super roster as Mingus prepares for hopefully, another successful season in 2010.

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