Jesuit claims Division I boys state tennis title
Cody Futrell/The Times-Picayune, May 01, 2012 8:49 p.m.
MONROE - The Jesuit Blue Jays again dominated the field on their way to the Division I state championship Tuesday at Heard Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
“Singles phenom” Hobie Hotard wins his 3rd state title.
Singles phenom Hobie Hotard won his third consecutive singles championship with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Austin Compete of Byrd High School. While the tandem of Trevor Lew and James Sampognaro won the doubles title with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win over Andrew Crespo and Ben Berrigan from Brother Martin.
Crespo and Berrigan dashed the Blue Jays hopes that it would be an all Jesuit final in doubles with a win over Thomas Crumley and Kevin Mikan in the semifinal round.
“The key was they had to come out and be more aggressive,” Brother Martin coach Drew Hoffman said of his doubles competitors. “We wanted to come out and dictate the points.”
Hotard beat Vinayak Chaturvedi of Lafayette in the semifinals while Copete advanced to the championship match by way of a win over Petton Stuart of Catholic-Baton Rouge.
Despite this being the first state meet outside New Orleans for Hotard and a nagging back injury, the junior kept his title streak alive for at least one more season.
“I play tournaments on the road most weekends and have played here before so being on the road did not bother me,” Hotard said. “I am just excited to get the win and proud for my school and proud to represent Jesuit.”
While the back injury had its effect, Hotard was most concerned with Copete who brought a large win streak into the match.
“I was struggling with the back a little,” Hotard said. “But I knew I had to keep battling because (Copete is) a good player.”
Jesuit was not the only area team to make a great showing and bring home gold as Rachel Howie of Mandeville won the Division I girls single title with a win over Gabrielle Roe of Mt. Carmel 6-4, 6-3.
Howie had advanced to the finals with a win over Haley Tucker of Dominican.