Northern 4A Boys tennis: No Sweatt

RENO - Trying to determine the No. 1 boys singles seed for the Northern 4A zone tennis tournament this weekend was no sweat. As in Andy Sweatt, that is.

Galena High School's Sweatt, undefeated during the conference regular season, maintained his top ranking Saturday morning by adding the Northern 4A boys singles title to his already-impressive resume.

Sweatt, who only dropped two games on Friday on his way to the semifinals, defeated Galena teammate Rares Trocan in the semifinals and then bested Reno's Jaret Wright in the finals at the Plumas Tennis Complex, 6-1, 6-4.

"Andy's just a great kid," Galena coach Mark Hurst said. "It's not easy being the No. 1 seed, but he's handled the pressure really well. He's setting himself up well for next week."

Next up is the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Championships in Las Vegas, an event where Sweatt has shined before. Sweatt finished third in singles last year - narrowly losing in the semifinals to eventual state champion Manuel Lastra of Reno (currently at Cal-Berkeley) - and in 1997 he combined with Nathan Roach to win the state doubles.

"I still have state to go," Sweatt said. "I know the competition is going to be tough, it always is down South, but I think this (Zone) was a good tune-up. Today, I was definitely tested in some pressure situations."

Sweatt was forced to a tie-breaker in the first set of the semifinals before dispatching Trocan 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. The second set of the final against Wright was another test.

"I wanted to hold my serve," Sweatt said of his match against Wright. "I felt if I did that, I would be able to break him eventually."

Sweatt finally did just that, breaking Wright's serve at 5-4 to win the match.

Trocan, a junior who came in as the No. 4 seed, wound up with third place in the tournament as he defeated No. 2 seed Nick Morton of Reed in the consolation final, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Galena is also advancing to the state boys team tournament, which begins Thursday at UNLV. The Grizzlies play their opener at 9 a.m. against four-time state champion Green Valley.

Reno, which edged Galena for the Northern 4A title earlier in the week, 12-10-1/2, opens against Bonanza.

Galena's Ryan Thornton and Chris Ferguson-McIntyre also qualified for state with their third-place performance. They lost in the semifinals to Reno's top-seeded Dan Scafidi and Evan Buell 6-3, 6-4, then came back to win the third-place match.

"It was a good day for our team overall. We have two singles and one doubles team going to state, that's the first time we've done that," Hurst said.


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