The TGS tennis team has gone to state tournaments more than any other sport at The Gregory School. According to Coach Mark Swenson, Coach of the Hawk’s Tennis Team for over a decade, “It’s rare when we don’t send a team to state.” It is easy to see this fact from the gym walls, where every other sports team has only one banner.
Tennis has three banners hanging on the gym wall filled with state titles. Tennis consistently performs well. Senior Gabriel Swenson, who plays on the team, said, “I think tennis performs very well because of the high socioeconomic class in this school.” Schools with higher socioeconomic classessuch as Salpointe and Catalina Foothills dominate Division II.
Coach Swenson believes that the girls’ team this year is stronger than the boys’ team, which has only one returning player. Swenson’s son, Gabriel, played last year. Meanwhile, all but one of the girls’ tennis players from last year returned to this year’s team, giving the girls team a stronger and more experienced lineup.
Both the girls and boys tennis teams have played six matches each. The girls team has won all of the seven matches, but the boys team has won two of the seven matches.
Seniors Alyssa Metcalf, Madison Mainman, and Grace Herrick play on the girls team, alongside junior Carly Caylor, sophomore Antonia Maher, and freshman Brandi Swenson.
Seniors Gabriel Swenson and Raymond Roesler play on the boys team, alongside sophomores Daniel Leighou and James Kukla, and freshmen Max Mainman and Amar Tuli.
The #1 player for the boys team is Gabriel Swenson, and the #1 player for the girls team is Alyssa Metcalf. Gabriel Swenson received an “All City Honorable Mention” last year, while Metcalf received “2nd team All City” last year. Gabriel Swenson is the team captain for the boys team this year and Alyssa Metcalf is the team captain for the girls team this year. Both Metcalf and Swenson have been playing since middle school.
Team members expect to go to states again this year and hope to perform well in the tournament. Metcalf said, “I think the goal is to not only get to states but to go far in states. Our boys and girls teams are solid across the board so I’m extremely optimistic regarding our chances at success.”
Freshman Max Mainman said, “The girls team is stronger than the boys team. However, I hope the boys team goes to states also. I’m a freshman, so I’m not really sure what to expect, but I hope we can continue to do well.”
Advancing onto the state tournament this year could still be a big challenge. Coach Swenson said, “With realignment, we now have to compete against much larger schools.We play Sabino, Amphi, Palo Verde, Santa Rita, Walden Grove, Sahuarita, all large schools.” Previous rivals like Desert Christian and Pusch Ridge were always tough to beat, according to Coach Swenson, but bigger public high schools are fierce competitors.
Still, Coach Swenson has high hopes this year and expects to continue to the state tournaments like in previous years. Swenson said, “We will still beat most of them.”
With their many banners full of state titles in the gym supporting them, the tennis team remains optimistic for their success this year.
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