The Lady Aztecs girls tennis team took home its fifth straight City Championship trophy on March 26 following a two-day tournament at Corona del Sol High School.
Corona finished with 76 points followed by Desert Vista with 35.
Single champions included senior Lauren Hacker at the No. 1 position, sophomore Maia Castiglione at the No. 2 position, Senior Yonit Upart at No. 3 and senior Drew Blasco at No. 4. Sophomore Hannah Pfotenhauer played in the finals at the No. 6 spot.
Doubles champions were Hacker and Upart playing at the No. 1 doubles position; Castiglione and sophomore Tien Tran at No. 2; and Blasco and Pfotenhauer at the No. 3 position.
Katherine Li is also a member of the varsity team.
Corona’s regular-season dual matches are going great, currently with a 7-3 record. “Our seniors are leading the way,” said coach Carol Sandvig.
The girls JV team is also 7-3 lead by junior Rachel McKay, sophomore Joyce Wen and junior Nicole Courtnay.
Corona’s boys volleyball team won the Antelope Classic tournament at Grand Canyon University March 26 by defeating Deer Valley in the finals 25-19, 25-17.
Matthew Seall had five blocks, Charlie Haulde 16 digs and Alex Davis 7 kills in that championship match. Davis and Haulde were named to the All-Tournament team.
Earlier in the day, the Aztecs won two close matches to make it into the finals against Deer Valley. Corona first came from behind after losing the first game by defeating Catalina Foothills in three games, 23-25, 25-21, 15-12, and then did the same thing against Boulder Creek. Losing the first game again by 2 points, 24-26, the Aztecs defeated Boulder Creek in two more close games, 26-24, 17-15, to earn the chance to play in the finals.
Corona had to dig deep to defeat Boulder Creek, a team they had lost to earlier in the tournament but managed to pull it off with Davis’s 11 kills and Haulde’s 13 digs. Jake Nuneviller had 15 assists and 4 blocks while Kyle Niemtschk had 14 assists in the winning effort.
Coach Brynne Evans admits that Corona’s team is still a work in progress with more of the focus going to team development and defense.
“We have had some ups and downs so far, but our chemistry is building and we had a great showing at the Antelope Classis,” said Evans.
Part of results at the Antelope Classic may be due to an adjustment in the lineup, which seems to add more chemistry and confidence within the team, according to Evans. Evans may also be getting more quality practice time and minutes from some of the other sport athletes who recently decided to take up volleyball.
“Juniors Seall and Zac von Allworden, plus senior Danyal Kadi, are all improving daily,” said Evans. “Their athleticism allows them to pick up skills quickly. When we can minimize their unforced errors, they will see more and more playing time.”
Some of the more experienced players have shown noticeable improvement, as well, this season.
“Kyle Niemtschk showed his consistency and reliability in the setting position over the weekend at the Antelope Classic,” said Evans. “Jake Nuneviller’s blocking has provided us with defensive stability in the front row.”
“Alex Davis continues to be a huge threat at the outside hitting position and works hard, always pushing himself to be his best. This drive helps to push the team as a whole.”
Corona will be playing at the prestigious Brophy Tournament, April 1-2, at Brophy High School. The teams competing this year include seven teams ranked in the top 10, which include Gilbert, Brophy, Salpointe Catholic, Desert Vista, Boulder Creek, Mountain Pointe, Corona and Highland.
The Aztecs will have a jam-packed schedule the rest of the season, averaging close to three matches a week until the first week in May and the state tournament. Up next, Corona will have two home matches, April 5 against Basha and April 6 against Brophy, before heading off for a match at Dobson on April 7.
Tempe All-City Awards
Thirteen Corona athletes received winter sports awards at Tempe’s All-City Awards banquet held March 21 at the Tempe Sheraton Hotel.
Calaen Robinson and Avery Moss received awards for boys basketball and while, for girls basketball, Alexa Hogberg, received the award.
Boys soccer players from Corona receiving awards included Graham Hemmingson, Christian Johnson and Ed Magana. Girls soccer award winners were MyKaylin Rosenquist, Olivia Montoya, Kelsey Cartwright and Stephanie Petre.
Glenn Farina, Ethan Tursini and Jason Landrum were recognized in wrestling from Corona.
Six athletes from Marcos de Niza also received Tempe All-City Awards. T.J. Burke was recognized in boys basketball. Sydnie Lengyel received an award for girls basketball and Alex Doller for girls soccer. Wrestling award went to Jessie Morales, Dominic Sotelo and Christian Mancha
Corona Track and Field
The Corona girls track and field team placed ninth out of 40 teams at the prestigious 71st Chandler Rotary competition March 25-26 at Chandler High School.
The girls 4×100 relay team crossed the finish line in 4th place. Earning points for the girls team were Taylor Johnson, who took 5th in the 200 Meter Dash; Lakevia Stormer, 5th in the 400 Meter Dash; and Megan Benson, 6th in the 100 Meter Hurdles.
Dana McKinzie was the only Corona athlete to place among the top 10 in the field events when she cleared the bar at 5 feet 2 inches in the high jump competition.
Corona’s boys team came in 24th out of 58 teams. Michael Seall was the top finisher for the boys team with a 4th place finish in the 800 Meter Run. Cody Jackson was 6th in the same race.
The boys 4×400 Meter Relay team finished 8th while the 4×100 relay team came in 11th.
The only other members of Corona’s boys team to finish in the top 20 were Daniel Wrapp, 13th and Jacob Whitney, 20th, in the 3,200 Meter Run.
Both teams will be competing at the Basha Invitational April 1, the ASU High School Classic April 7, and the Sun Angel Relays April 9.
Junior Golf Tournament Results
Several junior golfers from south Tempe/west Chandler competed in the Tempe Junior Golf tournament over spring break. Josh Owen won the 11-12 year old division, while Tyler Woodroffe took second in the 10-and-under age group.
Jakob Patterson placed second in the 13-14 age division and Alex Stoken took fourth in that same division.
Tempe has a new Tempe Golf Cup where junior golfers earn points toward this season-long award in each event. Owen and Patterson are at or near the top of their age divisions, according to Mike Bochenek, Tempe Junior Golf coordinator.
The last chance to earn points towards that title is a Drive, Pitch and Putt competition to be held April 30 at Ken McDonald Golf Course. Contact Bochenek for a copy of the registration flyer or to find out more about registering for this event at email@example.com .
Kyrene Corridor-area sponsors for Tempe Junior Golf events include Jimmy & Joe’s Pizzeria, Dairy Queen, NYPD Pizza, Baskin Robbins and Dick’s Sporting Goods.