Cate defeated visiting San Marcos High 11-7 today to complete the sweep of Santa Barbara County’s top-three public high school teams (Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos, and San Marcos).
Cate was led by senior captain Grace Fuss, who swept her opponents (6-0, 6-3, 6-0) to move to 19-1 on the season. Cate also got crucial wins from two other seniors, with Carol Cai going 2-1 on the day at #1 doubles and Mia Foster gutting out a 7-5 tie-break set at #3 doubles to go 1-0 on the day.
Cate’s underclassmen also provided key victories, with junior Yuki Kobayashi going 2-1 on the day at #2 singles and sophomore Ashi Kamra going 2-1 at #3 doubles. Sophomore Emily May partnered with Kamra in the final round-of-play to defeat San Marcos’s #1 team and clinch the match, while freshman Ellie Tunnell chipped in a win at #3 singles.
The Cate victory was made all the sweeter coming in front of a home-crowd that was in full-force for Cate School Parents’ Weekend. It also marks the first time Cate has beaten San Marcos since 2014. During that stretch, Cate has gone 12-1, 13-1, 10-1, 13-1 with San Marcos being the lone loss in each of those four regular seasons.
Coach Thorpe’s Comments:
I’m so proud of my girls today. We’ve been working towards this goal since the year before even our seniors had arrived at Cate, and now we’ve got the honor of calling ourselves the best team in Santa Barbara County. I think that’s really something when you consider that the other top teams generally have 10-times the student population to pull from.
This victory is a tribute to effort my girls put into every practice and the tenacity with which they compete. It’s not easy to balance the rigorous schedule at a top boarding school like Cate, and they impress me on a daily basis.
This win and the other big wins we’ve picked up this season are not just for the current girls at Cate, but also a tribute to a gradual build-up that goes all the way back to 2009, when I first got the chance to work with the Cate girls’ tennis program. We were in Division 4 then and here we are in Division 1 now, taking on the top teams in Southern California.