Despite playing what was arguably our best match of the season, Cate dropped a 5-13 decision against La Reina High.
In the first round of play, La Reina came out swinging with wins over Julia Gan and McKenna Madden at #1 and #2 singles, and despite early indications that the Herman sisters were going to have a very close match v. the La Reina #1 doubles team, that match got away as well.
Cecelia Sanborn came up with very solid play at #3 singles to record Cate’s first win of the match at 6-4, followed shortly thereafter by another 6-4 win from Kate Dehlendorf/Summer Christensen. Pharibe Pope and Emma Liberman failed to convert a few opportunities at #3 doubles, losing 3-6, but played great tennis through all three rounds of play.
In the second round, scores were again very even, with Gan taking a relatively easy win over Natalie Greco (#67 in California, #448 in the US) and Madden unleashing a fury of winners on the #3, bringing the match score to 4-6 overall. Later in the second round of play, Cate stood within a few games on all three doubles courts of leveling the match going into the third round, but all three sets went against the Rams.
When the dust settled from the third round of play, Gan was the only winner from that segment of the match, but it was clear that there is ample potential for a turn-around in a few weeks when Cate plays La Reina on the Cate Mesa!
Cate next plays this coming Thursday against cross-town (and now league) rival Carpinteria High. Carpinteria is the two-time defending D5 champion and features senior #1 player Kelsie Bryant, who has been ranked as high as #163 in the country in her class.
The Cate School girls have been experimenting with alternative uniforms and wooden racquets in an attempt to gain the psychological edge in the coming match. It has been rumored that Barbara Hallquist’s many successes in NCAA play and the pro tour have been attributed to “the look.” Victoria Herman has debuted “the look” to mostly positive reviews.