La Salle’s Tennis Teams Secure Two Individual State Titles

Brooks Coleman, Staff Reporter

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  • Sophomore Aidan McBride led the boys team in a huddle before matches began on Friday.

  • Sophomores Breslin Nichols and Eldon Nichols warmed up ahead of their first-round doubles match on Friday.

  • Sophomore Eldon Nichols took a moment to tie his shoe before his first match.

  • Sophomore Aidan McBride volleyed the ball over the net during a point.

  • Sophomore Aidan McBride shakes hands with his opponent ahead of their semifinal match.

  • McBride flashed a peace sign before his championship match on Saturday.

  • Junior Harris Nguyen focuses and readies himself for a point.

  • Members of La Salle’s girls tennis team showed their support for freshman Kennedy Harris with a sign on Friday.

  • Freshman Kennedy Harris prepared to return a serve from her opponent.

  • Freshman Kennedy Harris catches a breather and discusses strategy with her coaches between sets.

  • La Salle’s boys tennis head coach Mr. Mike Stone and sophomore Aidan McBride share a hug after McBride’s three-hour championship match victory.

  • Freshman Kennedy Harris shakes hands with her opponent after securing the 5A girls’ singles state championship.

  • Sophomore Aidan McBride showed off his first-place medal for boys singles.

  • The state champions proudly displayed their plaques during Saturday’s award ceremony.

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La Salle’s tennis programs headed to state on Friday and Saturday, with both the girls and boys teams taking home singles state titles.

La Salle’s boys sent two doubles teams — sophomore Eldon Nichols paired with sophomore Breslin Nichols, and sophomore Ryder McCoy-Hansen paired with junior Harris Nguyen — and one singles player, sophomore Aidan McBride. The girls sent one doubles team, junior Avery Richards paired with junior Gabbi Tassinari, and two singles players, freshmen Kennedy Harris and Joanna Perez-Hernandez.

Both programs finished second in their overall classifications, with the girls earning 8 points and the boys earning 10.5. 

McBride took home the 5A boys singles state championship, defeating Churchill junior Carsen Luna in 3 sets. The match lasted over three hours on a cloudless Saturday afternoon. “I think I just had the mental edge,” McBride said after the match. “I wasn’t going to lose.”

Harris was also a champion on Saturday, earning a two-set victory over Crescent Valley freshman Sophie Katz to clinch the 5A women’s singles state championship. “I went into it trying to be confident, but not overconfident,” said Harris. “I tried to out-consistent her and move her around the court.” 

Harris’ win marked La Salle’s first individual girls tennis state title since 1981. McBride’s was the first for the boys since 2010. This was the first time in history that La Salle has had both boys and girls singles state champions in the same year.