It wasn’t the first state title in her tenure, and it was her doubles team, undefeated on the season, that clinched it.
None of that could keep Chaparral coach Carrie Davis from doing a rock-star like split, going down to her knees with her hands in the air in celebration of the team’s 5A badminton championship.
The Firebirds defeated Xavier, 5-2, Thursday at Horizon High School, clinching an undefeated season and their sixth team state title (first since 2007).
Chaparral lost to Xavier in the semifinals last year when the Gators went on to win the state title. But the Firebirds came back to beat them twice this season — the only two losses for the Gators all year.
Chaparral won four singles matches and finished off the Gators with a victory from the doubles combination of Alex Hoffman and Courtney Foltz (15-13, 15-13).
"The nerves were going and sometimes it’s a matter of getting through that, going past it, believing in yourself and once again, knowing you can accomplish it,” Davis said.
The duo, which plays in the state doubles quarterfinals on Saturday, had some unforced errors, but rallied strong late in both of the set wins.
“I could feel the enthusiasm from our audience," Courtney Foltz said. "All of our doubles teams work really well together and we work on it a lot."
The Firebirds got singles wins from No. 2 Stacey McGuire (11-8, 11-0), No. 3 Hoffman (11-0, 6-11, 11-2), No. 4 Foltz (11-4, 11-3) and No.6 Allison Gordon, who played in the longest and seemingly most demanding match of the night.
"(Allison’s) skill level has gone up the hill,” Davis said. “She is a big reason why we won this.”
Gordon and Xavier’s Elizabeth Dobbins, who won the first matchup between the two earlier in the year, put on a show of long rallies and hard-earned points until Gordon finally broke through, 13-12, in the second set.
“It was different from last time,” Gordon said. “I had more adrenaline, it was more of a rush.”
Xavier received victories from No. 5 Erin McKenna (11-13, 11-1, 11-6) and No. 1 Cate Welch (13-12, 13-10), who'll play in the singles quarterfinals on Saturday.
Xavier defeated Corona Del and Chaparral defeated Chandler to make it to the finals match.