*To view the Class 1A and 3A FHSAA Tennis State Championship Recap, Click Here.
The 2023 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Tennis State Championships have come to a close, with Classes 2A and 4A competing across the week of April 24. Taking place at Red Bug Lake, Sylvan Lake, and Sanlando Park, players and teams from across the state.
There are Team and Individual brackets that players compete in. As part of the Team Draw, the No. 1 line for each team will compete in the Team’s Individual bracket, where the winner will match up against the player that won the Individual bracket. The winner of that match will become the Overall Champion for that specific class (Team’s Individual Draw winner against Individual Draw winner).
Through the heat and rain, Class 2A battled it out this week to become the best in the state. In the Boys’ draw, there was one team that came out and absolutely dominated all aspects of the competition from team play to individual accolades.
American Heritage Delray recorded one of the most dominant tournament runs in FHSAA history. Starting in the team play, the team swept every single series they played this week. In the first round, Gulliver Prep became their first victim in a 5-0 effort. In the second round, American Heritage faced Lemon Bay, who swept their opening round series, but Lemon Bay couldn’t recreate that performance as Heritage ran away with a 6-0 win.
The championship saw American Heritage against Satellite, who only dropped one line in each of their first two matchups. However, American Heritage was way too strong from Satellite to handle as they team swept another opponent in a 5-0 result. In total, American Heritage played 16 matches, each of them being best-of-3 set format, and only dropped 24 games across those matches. That’s 32 sets played and only 24 games lost, a historic performance.
Over in the individual competition it was no different. Top seed, Markus Ekstrand for American Heritage faced James Adler Germinal (Calvary Christian), who was on a tear in the draw. Germinal dominated his first three matches to reach the Overall Finals, only dropping 7 games in 6 sets. In the finals, Markus and James Adler went back and forth with one another with each taking a game. The first set went to a tiebreaker, where Markus edged out a 7-4 win. He rode this momentum into the second set and won the match 7-6, 6-1. For doubles Markus and partner George Kosseifi faced the Pine Crest duo in Kenneth Chan and Krisztian Meszaros. The Pine Crest pair won their matches with ease, 6-0, 6-0, then 6-1, 6-1, and 6-2, 6-2. The Overall Finals, however, were all American Heritage as Markus and George won 6-1, 6-3, as the Delray high school swept all the Boys’ titles.
In the Girls’ competition, the best series was in the opening round, featuring American Heritage Delray and Gulliver Prep. These two known powerhouses needed every line to perform to their best potential as it went down to the final one. American Heritage got things started by winning both doubles matches, including the top line that went to a tiebreaker set. With their backs against the wall, Gulliver Prep’s top two lines, Sophia Varavyeva and Valentina Rossi, each won their matches to even up the score. While that was happening, Heritage’s fifth line won her match, and Gulliver Prep’s third line won hers, putting all the eyes on Laura Buchs (American Heritage) and Mika Lea Ringel (Gulliver Prep). The first set was intense, with each girl trading games until an eventual tiebreaker. Once again, they traded back and forth, but Mika Lea won two points in a row to take the set 9-7. The second set was all Laura, winning 6-0 to force the important final tiebreaker set. Like the first set, it was intense, with each point being won by each other. In the end, Gulliver Prep’s Mika Lea found two points in a row to take the set 10-8 and give Gulliver Prep the 4-3 series win.
Gulliver took this momentum into their next match and swept Holy Names Academy 4-0, setting up a date with Bolles, who defeated South Walton (5-0) and Lake Highland Prep (4-1). In the championship, Bolles was able to strike first and take the line one doubles game, but Gulliver had the ice in their veins still. The South Florida high school rallied back to take the next four lines and secure the State Championship, giving Gulliver Prep their third title in four seasons of competition (the 2020 season was canceled due to Covid).
Gulliver’s top player, Sophia Varabyeva was playing well all week long and found herself in the Overall Singles Finals. Her opponent was Coral Springs Charter’s very own and defending Overall Champion, Juhnyee See. To reach the finals, Juhnyee was playing near flawless tennis. She dropped 1 set in her first two matches, and then took down Patricia Acra (Somerset Academy) 6-3, 6-3. Juhnyee kept her performance up, and defeated Sophia 6-3, 6-3, for back-to-back Overall titles.
For doubles, Natasha Jerkunica and Michaela Landry (Pine Crest) dominated the field. They swept their first match 6-0, 6-0, and then won their next two matches with the score of 6-2, 6-1, punching their ticket in the Overall Finals against Jacklyn Daynovski and Kristina Despotuli (American Heritage Delray). It was a battle early on, but in the end the Pine Crest duo found a couple of break points and won the match 6-4, 6-3.
- Boys Team Champions: American Heritage Delray
- Boys Team Finalist: Satellite
- Girls Team Champions: Gulliver Prep
- Girls Team Finalist: Bolles
- Boys Overall Singles Champion: Markus Ekstrand, American Heritage Delray
- Boys Overall Singles Finalist: James Adler Germinal, Calvary Christian
- Boys Overall Doubles Champions: Markus Ekstrand/George Kosseifi, American Heritage Delray
- Boys Overall Doubles Finalist: Kenneth Chan/Krisztian Meszaros, Pine Crest
- Girls Overall Singles Champion: Juhnyee See, Coral Springs Charter
- Girls Overall Singles Finalist: Sophia Varabyeva, Gulliver Prep
- Girls Overall Doubles Champions: Natasha Jerkunica/Michaela Landry, Pine Crest
- Girls Overall Doubles Finalist: Jacklyn Daynovski/Kristina Despotuli, American Heritage Delray
The 4A draw wrapped up the 2023 FHSAA Tennis State Championships, with plenty of fun and exciting matches. It was definitely a good week if you are a player, student, or fan of Miami Palmetto High School.
In the Boys’ team draw, Palmetto was looking to avenge their second-place finish from last year. In their opening match against Cypress Bay, the team came out hot, taking both doubles lines. Cypress Bay’s top line, Sebastian Mendonza, put them on the board with a 6-4, 2-6, 11-9 win. But, the rest of Palmetto played well and took the series 4-1.
Palmetto regrouped and prepared to take on Vero Beach, who has been a powerhouse in the class. However, Palmetto took care of business, defeating Vero 4-1 and marched into the championship. Their opponent, Gulf Coast, had been having a great showing. The team took care of Plant 4-1 and then Spruce Creek 4-2.
The Finals were highly anticipated, and the two teams went back and forth battling the heat and the rain. In the end, Palmetto was able to secure four wins and took the match, giving them their third State Championship in four seasons of competition (the 2020 season was canceled due to Covid).
Matching their energy all weekend long was the Girls’ team from Palmetto. Right away, they came out with fire and beat Stoneman Douglas, dropping only 7 games in the four-match sweep. They matched up in the semis against Spanish River, who won a title in 2021. Spanish River doubles pair Blanka DeMicheli and Delanie Tribby got things started with a victory over Palmetto’s top duo. Once again, though, Palmetto took the other doubles match and all of the singles lines, to secure a 4-1 win and a chance to win a medal.
Venice High School came from the other side of the draw. They won their first match against Lake Mary with ease but went to war in the semifinals with Spruce Creek. The teams split the two doubles lines, setting up the important singles matches. Venice’s top seeds, Nicole Cierniak and Weronika DeLong both won their matches, but Spruce Creek’s Irina Tabacila and Melissa Perman battled back to even everything at 3-3. In the final line, Joy Jia (Venice) won her match 6-0, 6-1 and put Venice in the state finals.
However, the finals were very one-sided, and in the favor of Palmetto. The Girls came out strong and won both doubles matches. In singles, Palmetto won two matches and only dropped one game, crowning them State Champs. This was also the Girls’ third time winning in the last four seasons of play.
Individually, Miami Palmetto’s Ameia Sorey was the Overall singles champ, defeating Alyssa Novoa from Apopka. In Doubles, the Spanish River pair of Blanka and Delanie matched up against Payton Seidle-Lubowitz Patricia Palencia (Doral Academy). The Doral Girls’ took down top seeded Blair Murray and Kylie Kochis (Nease) in a 7-5, 6-2 effort. The Overall Finals, were controlled by Blanka and Delanie, winning 6-4, 6-1.
Over on the Boys’ side, Plant’s Jack Satterfield advanced to the Overall Finals against Lake Nona’s Siddharth Moturi. Siddharth’s path to the finals was not easy by any means. His opening match against Nikolas Stoot (Coral Gables) was a close 7-6, 6-4 match. The next round he needed to battle back down a set and use a tiebreaker to take down Nikolas Kumria (George Jenkins) 3-6, 6-3, 10-7. He handled the top seeded Ezequiel De La Plaza (Doral) pretty comfortably, 6-3, 6-2. In the Finals, Jack came out strong, found some break points and carried that through the match, winning 6-3, 6-2 and becoming the Overall State Champ for 4A.
In the Overall Doubles Championship. Henry Stoller and Nikolas Stoot (Coral Gables) matched up against Mason Cisco and Bo Johnson (Vero Beach). Both pairs made the championship with ease, and even had some withdraws to save their energy to provide one of the best matches of the week. The Coral Gables Boys took the first, winning the opening set 6-3 off the back of some great teamwork. However, Bo and Mason weren’t going down without a fight. After trading some games, it was a key break for them that helped them win the set 6-4 and force the tiebreaker. The final set was intense, with neither pair wanting to make a mistake. Eventually, Henry and Nikolas found their rhythm and took the set 10-6, becoming State Champions.
- Boys Team Champions: Miami Palmetto
- Boys Team Finalist: Gulf Coast
- Girls Team Champions: Miami Palmetto
- Girls Team Finalist: Venice
- Boys Overall Singles Champion: Jack Satterfield, Plant
- Boys Overall Singles Finalist: Siddharth Moturi, Lake Nona
- Boys Overall Doubles Champions: Henry Stoller/Nikolas Stoot, Coral Gables
- Boys Overall Doubles Finalist: Mason Cisco/Bo Johnson, Vero Beach
- Girls Overall Singles Champion: Ameia Sorey, Miami Palmetto
- Girls Overall Singles Finalist: Alyssa Novoa, Apopka
- Girls Overall Doubles Champions: Blanka DeMicheli/Delanie Tribby, Spanish River
- Girls Overall Doubles Finalist: Payton Seidle-Lubowitz/Patricia Palencia, Doral Academy
This concludes the 2023 high school season. If you want to learn more about the next season, visit ustaflorida.com/youth-tennis for the latest information.