Last we left off, the Thunderbird Boys’ Tennis team defeated the HIgley Knights in a 7-2 victory. The next couple of matches are full of excitement and has led to a great achievement.
On March 13th, 2019, the boys traveled to Cortez High School. They were determined to continue their season winning streak after their victory over Higley High School. They achieved just that. At the end of the day, the Chiefs defeated the Colts in a landslide 9-0 victory. After a relaxing week-long break from school, the team jumped right back into the action. On March 27th, 2019, the Chiefs hosted the match against the Bradshaw Mountain Bears at home. While the oppositon tried their best to derail the Chiefs’ success, they ultimately failed. Thunderbird defeated Bradshaw Mountain with a final score of 9-0, another landslide victory for the Chiefs. A day later, the boys went up against Glendale High School and won another match with the same score of 9-0. The Chiefs ended the month of March with a victory.
On April 2nd, 2019, the team traveled to North Canyon High School to face off with their next opponent: the Rattlers. While the Rattlers did shake up the playing field, it wasn’t enough for a victory. The Chiefs won 8-1 against North Canyon. Two days later, the boys faced off with the Moon Valley Rockets at home. Ultimately, the efforts of the Rockets did not pay off and the Chiefs achieved a 7-2 win as a result. On April 8th, 2019, Thunderbird traveled into their main rival’s territory. The Greenway Demons were looking to hand the Chiefs a loss for the first time since Thunderbird’s first loss against the Arcadia Titans. However, the Demons failed their mission. The Chiefs crushed the Demons with a 9-0 victory. A day later, on April 9th, the boys had another away game. This time, the Chiefs traveled to Shadow Mountain High School. The boys entered the match with confidence and it payed off. Thunderbird defeated Shadow Mountain in a 7-2 win.
Two days later, the Chiefs had a home game and they faced off with Paradise Valley High School. The boys were hoping to extend their winning streak once again, but the Trojans had other plans. Unfortunately, the Trojans defeated the Chiefs in a landslide 0-9 win, breaking the boys’ winning streak. However, on April 15th, the boys bounced back from this loss. The Chiefs faced off with Washington High School in the season’s penultimate round and came out victorious, defeating the Rams 8-1. Nevertheless, the boys once again were dealt another blow a day later. In their last match of the season, the boys went against Notre Dame Preparatory at the Scottsdale Ranch Park and Tennis Center. While the Chiefs gave it their all, the Saints ultimately defeated Thunderbird in a 1-8 win for Notre Dame.
Karen Horine states that they didn’t qualify for the state tournament last year. “Last year had a winning record at 8-6 and we competed well for the talent that we had, but didn’t qualify for the state tournament.” However, this year she claims it will be very different, and judging by the scores, it will be different like she says. A big factor of this would be the different lineup Thunderbird has this year. The coach tells us,“The results would be significantly different due to stronger lineup and roster that is determined, more committed.” A team who’s more determined and committed would make all the difference she continues on to say. Her attitude and confidence continues to help the team, showing other teams how confident they are. The boys achieved an overall record of 11-3, achieved a standing of second in the Division II Section I rankings, and achieved a rank of ninth in the Division II standings. As a result, Thunderbird’s Boys’ Tennis team were able to secure a spot in the state playoffs! On April 24th, 2019, the boys went up against Mesquite High School for the first round in the playoffs. The boys were excited to show off their skills and prove their worth. However, the match ended the Chiefs’ dream of progressing forward in the playoffs. The Wildcats defeated the Chiefs in a close 4-5 win for Mesquite High.
While the Chiefs’ ambitions for winning the championship has ended, the team has already looked forward to 2020. The team is already planning out their strategy and are hopeful to make more progress in next year’s season.