Koester and Ramras would not be able to play in the semifinals because one of them was ill, according to Martin, thereby defaulting and allowing the Xavier duo to advance to the championship match.
So instead of playing at approximately 11:30 a.m., the Xavier girls had to wait close to two more hours until the other semifinal had been completed.
The winner of that other semi, top-seeded Josie Frazier and McKenna Koenig of Scottsdale Desert Mountain, defeated fourth-seeded Lindsey Pesqueira and Sophie Lopez of Tucson Rincon/University.
Even though the temperature was in the mid-90s, the Desert Mountain girls didn’t need a whole lot of time to replenish themselves afterward. Frazier grabbed a cold bottle of water and Koenig munched on a small piece of citrus before going back out.
They made a quick turnaround and had plenty of energy left, rolling to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Stutz and Even at the Paseo Racquet Center in Glendale.
“There is a reason why they were seeded No. 1,’’ said Xavier coach Laurie Martin. “They are both among the top 100 players in the country.’’
Some might think it is more beneficial to sit out, strategize and conserve energy as the Xavier girls did. Others think it is better to pretty much go directly from one match to another.
Martin did not think the scenario was that much of an issue.
“Most of these girls play in a lot of different kinds (non-school in the summer) tournaments, so they are adaptive,’’ she said.
Stutz and Even are sophomores and are a bit ahead of the curve, experience- and skill-wise.
“It’s still kind of hard trying to warm up and then sitting and waiting,’’ said Stutz, who finished as the consolation champion in singles as a freshman last season.
Even admitted that “it was kind of a shocker. We were both preparing mentally and then you have to pull it back a little bit.
“Still, even if we had played and won in the semi, we knew the team we would play in the final would be very difficult.’’
It seemed that Frazier and Koening were all over the court. Wherever the Gators tried to place the ball, one of them was there for the return, often where the Xavier-ites couldn’t reach it.
“It was great for our players to play a team like that. They (Desert Mountain girls) are both strong players,’’ Martin said. “Wherever they go, whatever kind of shot they take, they don’t miss much.’’
The team portion of the state tournament resumes on Tuesday (May 1) and Desert Mountain, the defending state champion, is seeded No. 1. The Wolves will play host to No. 8 Chandler Basha. Xavier, meanwhile, is seeded third and will have a home match against No. 6 Chaparral. Start time is 3 p.m. for both.