I’ve been very pleased with the play of the entire team so far this season and today was no different. Last night’s 13-5 win over Carpinteria High turned out to be just the prelude to what has been an outstanding week for Cate tennis.
Playing back-to-back matches, we managed to come out swinging again, taking four of the first six sets and holding that lead with 3-3 rounds the rest of the way against Santa Ynez. It almost didn’t turn out that way!
Julia Gan was down 4-1 and then 5-2 against a very experienced and highly-ranked Mary Kavaloski (as high as #533 in the country earlier this season). When I looked over at Julia at that point in the match, I saw that she had her “determined face” on and as she started to gain ground, I realized she was about to do something big. Like so many times in the last three years, once she flashes that face, the match almost always goes her way. She’s just a special player and we’re very fortunate to have her as part of our team. She ended up taking that set in a 7-4 tie-breaker and didn’t lose another game the rest of the match. Julia is now 17-1 overall this season.
In doubles, Summer Christensen and McKenna Madden pushed their unbeaten record to 12-0 (Summer is now 18-0 on the season). McKenna has played singles for us the majority of her four seasons at Cate, but she’s such an impressive doubles player that we can’t help but put her there. In Summer, she has a partner who has matured, this season, into a very strong doubles player herself. Together, they’re a real pleasure to watch.
Pairings Eva Herman/Janice Ng (9-3 together this season) and Emma Liberman/Cecelia Sanborn (11-4 together this season) held their ground in doubles at the #2 and #3 positions, winning two matches each. In the past, Cate tennis has often been reliant on getting most of our wins in singles, so it’s great to see us so solid all the way through the doubles lineup.
Prior to this season, we were 0-4 against Carp High, 0-3 against Rio Mesa, and 0-5 against Santa Ynez. We now stand at 6-0 (3-0 in league), having beaten all of those teams, plus last year’s Tri-Valley league champions (La Reina). In Santa Ynez and Rio Mesa, we’ve now beaten the #2 and #4 teams in CIF D3. Unfortunately, we’re a very small school that somehow ended up in division 2, but we think we can hold our own at that level, too.
We have been building some serious momentum over the course of this season, proving that we can compete with some of the stronger teams out there. I’m so proud of my girls, their play and their character. They have put in the hard work over the last few years and its starting to pay off. I can’t think of a more deserving bunch.