Savio Tennis Serves for State
The Eagles Tennis team played with determination and heart to achieve historic results at this year's state tournament!
The TAPPS 4A State Championships were held at the Waco Regional Tennis Center on Monday, April 11, and Tuesday, April 12. Beginning Monday morning, the tournament experienced a rain delay however, and matches that were supposed to start at 8 a.m. did not go on court until midday. What followed was a rollercoaster of weather conditions that forced the players to adjust and adapt in order to win. Some matches were played while it was hot and humid, while on the second day of the tournament, it was cold and cloudy again. All in all, the great USTA and TAPPS officials planned well and made the tournament run smoothly.
The Eagles qualified three boys for state this year: Peter Spangler, Nicholas Butler, and Roberto Valko.
Peter Spangler (sr.) and Nicholas Butler (jr.) faced a tough team in their first round match from Victoria St. Joseph High School. The boys fought hard and played as a team, but the two fell 6-1, 6-0 to the eventual semi-finalists. Both boys had to play through minor injuries incurred the week prior to the tournament but still gave their absolute best on court.
Roberto "Bo" Valko (sr.) came out firing fast serves and aggressive approaches in his first round match where he defeated Michael Morales of Corpus Christi Incarnate Word Academy 7-6, 6-3. Because of the rain delay, Valko's second match began as the sun set and ended after dark under the tennis center lights. He played against Luke Twaddell from Tyler All Saints Episcopal School.
Both boys battled hard in the first set, with Valko dropping serve late in the set to lose 3-6. In the second set however, he came roaring back to tie the match with his own 6-3 set. The delay caused a shortened format of playing a 10-point tie-breaker in place of the third set. Valko was down early in the breaker 2-5. He fought his way back to 6-all next with an outstanding display of mental fortitude. Again losing the lead, Valko then dropped down 7-8 nearing the end of the tie-breaker. But by keeping his wits about him and remaining calm, Valko edged out the match with a huge winner down the line to seal the victory!
Valko then faced the tournament's eventual first place winner in the semi-finals named Aaron Mackie from Flower Mound Coram Deo Academy. Mackie proved to be a dominant player winning 6-0, 6-0 and then going on to win the finals 6-0, 6-2.
Valko received third place in the tournament after the semi-final match.
"I am so proud of the way the boys fought in the matches and represented their school," Coach Pekar said. "We have qualified players for state in the past, but this was another historic year for sure."
Spangler is the first player at Savio to attend the state tournament two years in a row, and Valko is the first player to ever medal at the state competition.
Congratulations to all our Eagles players!