Hattie Hearnen (left) prepares to serve in the course of the quarterfinals of the Division II Group State Event at Chaparral Excessive College. (Brenden Paul/AZPreps365)
Brenden Paul is a pupil on the ASU Cronkite College of Journalism assigned to cowl Dawn Mountain Excessive College for AZPreps365.com.
The 2022 Dawn Mountain Excessive College badminton season ended after the group state event on October 25.
The season was crammed with memorable moments for every of the seven varsity members. The Mustangs completed with a 13-1 general document, 4-1 of their part. These scores are ok for No. 2 of the part and No. 5 within the state.
The Mustangs have been blessed with proficient gamers throughout the board, together with dynamic performances from their skilled solid, which featured senior Camille Martin making a Division II Singles State Championship look, junior Annabel Johnson and sophomore Ruthey Figg making appearances in doubles state championship , and senior Hattie Hearnen and junior Rylan Rhodes successful the Division II Doubles State Championship in dramatic style.
“I’m very happy with my group,” mentioned head coach Missy Carter. “Having a doubles state championship group for the primary time in my profession was an amazing expertise not just for me however for the ladies on the group as nicely. It is clear that the ladies put within the time and dedication mandatory for a championship. I’m very enthusiastic about the way forward for this system.”
The Mustangs start their postseason play journey with the Division II State Event at Independence Excessive College October 21-22, the place senior Hattie Hearnen and junior Rylan Rhodes compete within the doubles competitors as No. 1 general seed. Junior Annabel Johnson and sophomore Ruthey Figg additionally competed in doubles, and senior Camille Martin represented the Mustangs within the singles bracket.
Johnson and Figg opened their battle for the crown within the play-in spherical, the place they confronted Kennedy Massey and Lily Doerksen of Millennium Excessive College. The Mustang duo began off sizzling by bursting to a 21-5 victory in set one, however after a 21-18 set two win from Millennium, the 2 sides went to a decisive third set, the place Figg and Johnson prevailed, successful 21-12.
Each superior to the official first spherical, the place they received a troublesome draw in opposition to No. 6 seed Verrado Excessive College senior mixture of Paige Ginsburg and Lauren Thrasher. Figg and Johnson stayed shut within the match however finally fell in two units to the Vipers (21-18, 21-17) and ended their journey within the event.
Figg, the lone underclassman within the Mustangs varsity lineup, gained a whole lot of publicity to robust competitors all through the event and the season, giving him a whole lot of confidence in his recreation, and one thing to construct on in his later seasons.
“This yr as a participant has been excellent and really difficult for me,” Figg mentioned. “It confirmed me some issues this yr that I did not see final yr. I discovered loads and labored arduous.”
Johnson discovered loads from his expertise this season and located the season rewarding, regardless of some challenges.
“This season has given me challenges, like my wrist issues, however I would say it has been price it,” Johnson mentioned. “I noticed wonderful competitors this yr and had wonderful teammates who pushed me. Though badminton is a psychological sport, due to my coach and teammates I bought by way of it. Badminton is a sport that i wish to do in school.
In singles, Martin dealt with Washington Excessive College senior Nolia Thang within the first spherical successful in two sturdy units (21-17, 21-8). Nevertheless, within the second spherical, Martin fell to Chaparral Excessive College senior Myra Duncan in two units (21-11, 21-5), ending Martin’s bid for a singles state championship.
The opposite doubles pair of Rhodes and Hearnen bought a bye within the play-in spherical as general No. 1 seed. They defeated Campo Verde’s Leilani Williamson and Victoria Crabbe with ease (21-7, 21-1) and Shadow Mountain’s Clara Wardlow and Joanna Diaz and not using a contest (21-9, 21-12) to earn place within the quarterfinals.
The pair ran by way of Prescott’s Lauren Farley and Calli Naylor within the quarterfinals (21-16, 21-9) and Chaparral’s Ellie Bucher and Chi Chi Bracker in a three-set semifinal match (22-20, 18-21, 21-14) , establishing a showdown with Prescott’s Riley Crockett and Elle Lengthy within the finals.
The finals got here with all of the motion followers have come to anticipate, as Rhodes and Hearnen received two hard-fought, nail-biting units (22-20, 21-18) to seize the Division II Doubles State Championship.
“We have been working arduous all season, going undefeated and it actually confirmed within the event,” Hearnen mentioned. “This general badminton season has been one in every of my favorites and I am very happy with everybody and the way far we have come.”
It was a particularly rewarding expertise for Rhodes, who overcame obstacles in his psychological recreation this season to win the championship.
“I’ve all the time struggled with the psychological recreation and this yr I actually have to indicate that I am sturdy,” Rhodes mentioned. “My favourite reminiscence of the season is successful state and all of the enjoyable we had at practices and attending to know every of the gamers.”
Within the group state event, the Mustangs entered because the fifth seed within the 16-team subject. Within the first spherical, they confronted off in opposition to Mesquite Excessive College at dwelling in Peoria. The Mustangs insisted on dominating the sport, successful 8-1 general. Rhodes at No. 1 singles dropped a heartbreaking three-set battle to Pravindi Gurusinghe (21-16, 19-21, 14-21), whereas Hearnen and Martin every responded with convincing two-set sweeps (21-11 , 21-10). , and 23-21, 21-13 respectively).
The underside half of the singles lineup contributed significantly as junior Hannah Winschel earned a decisive 21-9 and 21-10 set victory over Keira Godek. Figg failed in his first set, falling 21-18, however responded to the problem, successful units two and three 21-14 and 21-17. To shut out the singles, Johnson ran by way of Danielle Malan (21-7, 21-6) to place Dawn forward 5-1 within the match.
In doubles, Rhodes and Hearnen set the tone for his or her squad, simply successful each units (21-10, 21-12). Winschel and Martin have been equal to the duty, successful their respective two units 21-16 and 21-17, whereas Johnson and senior Mabel Dinnell closed out the efficiency with a 21-18 set win.
After their 8-1 victory within the first spherical recreation in opposition to Mesquite, the Mustangs hit the street to Scottsdale to face the fourth seeded Chapparal Firebirds. The sport is anticipated to be a really shut, back-and-forth contest. Sadly for Dawn, the match fell in need of expectations, because the Firebirds have been in a position to sweep their approach by way of the Mustangs successful all however one of many six singles flights in a two-set sweep, marking a An unlucky finish to the Mustangs’ excellent season.
The Mustangs graduated three seniors – Hearnen, Martin, and Dinnell – this spring, however Coach Carter mentioned he’s excited for the youthful expertise on his group to proceed competing for the state crown.
“There’s a whole lot of younger expertise working arduous this season,” Carter mentioned. “I hope to see them come in the summertime and provides time to have a profitable season subsequent yr.”