Rochester Mayo girls tennis coach Jeff Demaray has achieved great success in his three-decade-long tenure at the tennis state tournament. Under his guidance, the Spartans have made 26 appearances in the past 27 years. However, it was not until this year’s tournament that Demaray finally brought home the championship title.
Mayo’s journey to victory was a remarkable one. They dominated the competition from start to finish, ending the season undefeated with a perfect record of 26-0. In the Class 2A team championship, they secured a decisive 6-1 victory over Edina.
Edina, a renowned tennis program with a rich history, made their first appearance in the team finals since winning the title in 2019. Despite falling behind early and facing a 3-0 deficit, they fought back with determination, raising hopes of a comeback.
However, the Spartans remained strong and resolute. They secured their fourth team point and sealed the victory when sophomore Ana Medina triumphed in a fiercely contested match at No. 4 singles, with a score of 6-1, 5-7, 6-0. Medina, caught off-guard by the significance of her performance, expressed her joy and satisfaction.
“I had no idea, but it does feel really, really good,” said Medina with an infectious smile. “This is something we’ve been focused on all year.”
Throughout the team tournament, Mayo received tremendous support from their loyal fans. Two buses were chartered to transport the enthusiastic supporters to the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Their presence was undeniable as they cheered loudly for every Mayo success. After the victory, they proudly sang the school fight song and celebrated with a series of spirited cheers during the awards ceremony.
Coach Demaray expressed his gratitude for the unwavering support and credited the team’s hard work, both during the season and the offseason, for their well-deserved triumph.
Junior Claire Loftus, Mayo’s exceptional No. 1 singles player and one of the top talents in the state, allowed herself a moment of excitement. Breaking free from her usual composure, she passionately acknowledged the significance of Mayo’s accomplishment.
“It’s amazing to be the team that finally did this,” Loftus exclaimed. “With the kind of support we had, to think about the history of MGT [Mayo girls tennis] and this being the first time, it just means so much to all of us.”
In the Class 1A category, the dream of a Rochester sweep of the two girls tennis team championships was shattered when Blake defeated defending champion Rochester Lourdes with a score of 5-2, securing the Class 1A title.
Lourdes, entering the tournament as the top seed, was outplayed by the superior Blake team. Blake’s senior Nana Vang set the tone by delivering a resounding 6-0, 6-0 victory against Lourdes’ Caroline Daly at No. 1 singles. With seventh-grader Sienna Szerda securing a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles, the Bears established a firm grip on the match.
Blake’s victories were characterized by their dominance, with four of the five wins being achieved in straight sets.
This victory marked Blake’s 14th girls tennis state championship, a testimony to their consistent excellence. They ended the season with a commendable 13-7 record.
Jessica Roberts serves up the latest in the world of tennis. With a love for the racket sport, she reports on tennis matches, player rankings, and Grand Slam events, ensuring readers stay informed about the tennis world.