As a coach, these are the matches you hope for. We’d dropped a 12-6 loss to Orcutt earlier in the season, albeit without Julia Gan in the lineup. Our backs were against the wall, playing a seeded team in the first round after having lost a coin-toss for the Condor League Championship. Today though, just about everything went to plan and we played our best match of the season at the most important moment.
In first round action, #1 and #2 doubles teams Summer Christensen/Kate Dehlendorf and Victoria Herman/Pharibe Pope came away with quick wins in convincing fashion. Orcutt leveled the field with similarly lopsided wins at the #3 singles and doubles positions, but Cate took control of the match with hard-fought wins from Julia Gan and McKenna Madden in singles.
After taking the first round 4-2, the second round was split 3-3, with Orcutt getting two wins in doubles and Cate picking up two again in singles. However, the last match off the court was an important one, with Madden overcoming Orcutt #1 Sarai Aguirre (who had beaten her 6-1 during the regular season) to maintain the two-set Cate lead heading into the third round.
The final round got off to a nervous start, with Orcutt briefly taking leads on all six courts, but soon Gan and Madden took commanding advantages in their matches, leaving it down to Cate doubles to pick up one more win to seal the match. Christensen and Dehlendorf came back from a 1-4 deficit to win 6-4 and Herman and Pope also added a 6-4 win for good measure, resulting in a final score of 11-7 for Cate.
The Cate team is next in action this Friday at 2pm on the Cate Mesa against Windward, the champions of the Delphic League and #9 seeds in CIF.
(photos Courtesy of Cara Christensen)