Sedona tennis falls to Veritas Prep in quarter-finals
The Sedona Red Rock High School girls’ tennis team knew their quarterfinal match against Veritas Prep on Tuesday May 4 would be the last home game of the season. The question for the Scorpions was whether they would advance to the semi-finals, play Glendale, or would the season end? Unfortunately for the Sedona team, it was the latter.
The first four games of the day have all been won by the Falcons. On the pitch there were two singles matches and one doubles match. Should Veritas win any of these, the other two matches would be discontinued and the remaining two doubles matches that had not yet started would be called off. When Falcons junior Parker Cashdan defeated Scorpions sophomore Rina Sato 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, Veritas claimed their victory 5-0.
“I think we were all a little nervous and I wasn’t playing my best game – I know I could have played better,” said Jillian Grondin, No. 3 in SRRHS singles and half of the No. 1 in duplicate with Sato. “But I think it’s been a pretty good season that I’ve had – so I’m not disappointed.”
By the standings alone, the No.11 Falcons beating the No.3 Scorpions would be considered an upset – but the rankings were also misleading. Much like No.6 Benson in the previous round, the Scorpions weren’t fortunate enough to have to compete with Veritas so soon.
The Falcons were ranked No.11 because they only played eight games this season. If Veritas had been fortunate enough to play 10 games – as Sedona did – Scorpions coach Phil Kovac noted that it would easily have been a Top 5 team.
“I think we played really well,” said Sofia Zimmerman, SRRHS No. 1 singles player. “Veritas Prep is very good. We knew arriving would be a challenge. “
The loss ended an otherwise perfect season for Sedona. The Scorpions finished the regular season 10-0 and were the Division III, Section VI champions. They hosted Glendale Prep in the first round of the playoffs on Thursday, April 29 and beat the Griffins 6-3.
One of Sedona’s strengths throughout the season was its depth. Even though the teams had a solid No. 1 in singles or doubles, they never had the depth to beat Sedona during the regular season and rarely came close. Zimmerman also gave Kovac a lot of credit.
“He’s the most generous guy on the team,” Zimmerman said. “He gives us free shoes and snowshoes. It incorporates everyone. He’s a great coach. He’s been through a lot in the last year – especially with COVID – and we’re so grateful to have him as a coach.
A final positive aspect for Scorpios is their youth. Zimmerman and No.5 in singles Izzy Constante will graduate, but the rest of the squad is only sophomores. Thus, the Sedona team will return much of its core to the courts not only in 2022 but also in 2023.
“It was the best season I’ve had, by far, in my four years,” Zimmerman said. “I couldn’t be prouder to be a senior and to be such a good team, especially since everyone but me and another girl [Constante] are in second year. I will definitely follow how they are doing and keep in touch with them.
And while next season will begin in the spring, work will begin much earlier.
“We will be training all summer and we will come back stronger,” said Grondin. “I’m proud of everyone and I think we’ll be really good next year.