The Cate Rams defeated Fullerton’s Indians 11-7 in Fullerton today. This victory means another first for Cate athletics brought about by our girls’ tennis team. Earlier this season, Athletic Director Wade Ransom explained in an assembly that this team is the only team in Cate athletics history (as far as anyone can recall) that has played in a division as high as CIF D2. After today, we can add a playoff appearance to that marker.
Fullerton High, 12-3 in the regular season, featured Citrus Belt League champion Mikayla Rinker. A sophomore, Rinker has regularly featured in the top-300 of her class in the country. We have our own ringer in Julia Gan, who’s season record stood at 29-4 coming into the match, and the collective strength of an experienced team.
In the first round of singles play, Gan went up 4-3 on Rinker, but was unable to hold the lead. However, she was able to manage two 6-0 victories, which would prove critical to the final result.
Doubles was an all-Cate, all-day sort of affair, with a clean sweep of the board. Senior captains Kate Dehlendorf/Victoria Herman won 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. Stacked singles player McKenna Madden and Summer Christensen picked up a trio of 6-1 victories at the #2 position and Emma Liberman/Cecelia Sanborn held down the #3 spot with impressive victories of 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
In a cruel twist of fate (or perhaps just poor rules on wildcard draw selection), Cate will have to turn around and head several hours south through Los Angeles again tomorrow to play CIF #2-seed Murrieta Valley, who carry a perfect 19-0 record and a number of national ranked junior players into the match-up. For the Cate girls, though, there has never been any question this season about what to do when faced with adversity. Time to lower the heads and give ’em the horns!