TAMPA — Berkeley Prep won the Class 1A-District 7 boys tennis team title by being deep and resilient, scoring hard-fought points in Friday’s finals at the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 singles positions, and at No. 2 doubles.
In particular, the Bucs’ No. 4 and No. 5 players, Ivan Von Greiff and Jake Sokol, showed grit by winning Friday’s finals in three sets: Von Greiff 6-2, 3-6, 10-2 (a final tiebreaker super set) and Sokol 1-6, 7-5, 10-8.
“They try to give us heart attacks,” Berkeley Prep coach Kiril Popov said. “They started slow but kept fighting hard. They’ve gotten so much better from last year to this year.”
Berkeley Prep’s No. 1, Gray Aloian, made it to Friday’s final, but ran into a buzz saw against Clearwater Central Catholic’s Parker Hayslett, whose huge serve proved too much in a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“I actually played very well, but (Hayslett’s serve) was big,” Aloian said. “It made it tough.”
The runner-up team spot came down to the wire with Tampa Prep’s Nicolas de Quesada and Danny Palmer winning the No. 1 doubles title 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 over CCC’s Hayslett and Tyler Berning.
“Before the tournament nobody thought we (would survive for next week’s regionals),” Tampa Prep coach Chris Cary said. “But they’ve gotten so much better through this season and I’m so proud of them.”
Berkeley Prep won the team title with 23 points. Tampa Prep was second with 20, followed by CCC (18) and Carrollwood Day School (12).
Lilienthal surprises Leavy in singles
TAMPA — There was a surprise at the No. 1 singles competition in Friday’s Class 1A-District 7 girls finals when Academy at the Lakes freshman Cheyenne Lilienthal defeated Tampa Prep sophomore Paige Leavy 3-6, 6-2, 10-5.
After that? Few surprises.
Tampa Prep’s girls team went on to win with 25 points, followed by Clearwater Central Catholic with 20 and Berkeley Prep with 12.
“(Leavy’s loss) was surprising,” Tampa Prep coach Chris Cary said. “But we’re deep and we were able to score points throughout our lineup.”
In the end, Tampa Prep’s girls won titles at No. 2 singles (Isa Baskett), No. 3 singles (Yasmine Hanzah), No. 4 singles (Meghan DeSilva) and No. 1 doubles (Leavy and Baskett).