TAMPA — It took all of 30 minutes for Jesuit’s Palmer Evans to tally the first victory, and his teammates soon followed. Tampa Prep’s boys, along with the girls from Carrollwood Day and Holy Names, were in similar quick-work mode.
It was a convincing afternoon display by the four Tampa schools utilizing Hillsborough Community College for their first-round region matches.
Only one county player lost — but that came with a catch. Tampa Prep No. 1 Sam Rice came back from down 5-3 and a set point to take the first set 7-5 from Lakeland Christian’s Sam Moseley. Rice then retired due to ongoing health issues.
What started as a staph infection under his chin has evolved into two recent hospital stays totaling eight days. Rice said inflammation in his chest and stomach area make it so painful at times “I can’t hit a ball” and that the comeback Tuesday “took everything out of me. …There was no reason to keep going.”
The other factor: teammates Alan Williams, Valentin Mortier, Daniel Palmer and Ben Leeds had scored wins — all but one of the 6-0, 6-0 variety. Those four points clinched the team victory, officially a 4-1 final.
Carrollwood Day looks ready for a return trip to state in the Class A girls bracket. Jackie Fitz-Randolph and sister Lauren did not drop a game in singles or together at No. 1 doubles. Sarah Yaffe, McKenzie List and Casey Brynjolfsson all rolled their Lakeland Christian opponents.
With top player Daniela Nasser playing in the USTA national championships in Californa, AHN still swept Hardee 5-0. Caroline Lozo moved up to No. 1 and claimed career victory No. 100 at the school.
“It was different,” she said. “The team likes to hear two different pep talks but today it was just me. We’re more confident with Daniela around.”
Amanda Schifino moved into the fifth spot and won 6-4, 6-3. Lozo cruised 6-0, 6-0 while Olivia Rivas, Grace Williams and Grayson Garraty dropped just four games between them.
No doubles were held in that matchup and Jesuit’s opponent (Lake Wales) also opted to get out of town fast. The Tigers obliged with the most lopsided-looking contest of the four. Top three Jordan Nasser, David Pagliarulo and Evans all posted 6-0, 6-0 finals.
Knights prevail: Robinson defeated Auburndale in four straight singles matches, picking up wins in Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 singles to end the match before the No. 4 singles finished. No doubles matches were played.
“We knew that the Tampa schools were much stronger than the Polk County schools,” Auburndale coach Marty Knapp said. “So we kind of expected it.”
Chandler Luger defeated Johnny Le 5-7, (7-3), 6-4 in a No. 5 singles match that ended the competition. In No. 1 singles Michael Marinskiy defeated Collin Meadows 6-1, 6-0. In No. 2 singles Grant Oken defeated Micah Corbett 6-2, 6-2 and in No. 3 singles Enzo Peltz defeated Evan Atchison 6-1, 6-2.
Terps survive: Tampa Prep’s girls topped Winter Haven All Saints’ 4-2 in Class A action. Paige Leavy and Yasmune Hamzah each won 6-0, 6-0 for the Terrapins, but the No. 3 match proved pivotal as Meaghan DaSilva held off All Saints’ Haley Carifi 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
Tampa Prep clinched the match when Leavy and Izabelle Baskette defeated Meredith Mancini and Brigetta Truitt 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.
“We had good teamwork and it was important for the win”, said Baskette.
“We have a deep team and they’ve played well all season”, added Tampa Prep coach Sean Lake. “They’ve been consistent all season and that’s why we continue winning”.
Bucs ousted: After dropping his first set in No. 5 singles, Andrew Shoreibach knew it was time to take care of business. The All Saints’ sophomore rallied to defeat Berkeley Prep’s Harrison Gunn 5-7, 7-6, 6-0 to help the host Saints sweep Class A foe Berkeley Prep.
Information from the Ledger was used in this report.