In what was expected to be a competition dominated by Cate and La Reina, Cate proved their strength with both singles players and doubles teams advancing to the semifinals and securing all-league honors.
In Singles, Julia Gan and Jackie Cai both advanced to the semifinals without dropping a single game, while La Reina’s singles players Natalie Greco and Tiara Nourishad also advanced with ease.
In the semifinal round, Gan made quick work of Nourishad, winning 6-1, 6-1. Then Greco, the defending TVL Champion, was beaten by Cai in a tense 7-5, 6-1 match. This result was certainly the surprise of the tournament and another big moment in what has been a memorable season for Cate girls’ tennis.
Jackie Cai is a sophomore transfer who was forced to sit out the first half of the season because of CIF rules meant to discourage recruiting in football and other “money sports.” While it took her a few weeks of play to get her rhythm, she put in a fierce performance against the defending champion.
I am incredibly proud of the way Jackie handled herself and did not flinch when gamesmanship entered into the match. She is a real class act, but she also held her ground. That’s exactly how I want my players to represent the Cate School.
A sophomore, Cai will play her senior teammate (Gan) in an all-Cate final for the TVL singles title on Thursday.
In doubles, it was business as usual for two-time defending TVL Champs Sophia Aulicino and Jacey Katch, who recorded a 6-0, 6-0 win in the quarters and then defeated Cate #2’s Eva Herman and Janice Ng in straight sets.
Herman and Ng made quick work of their quarterfinal opponents and seemed, for a moment, to be getting a foot-hold against the defending champs in the second set. With Katch graduating and Aulicino likely to play singles in next year’s tournament, this team will be one to watch for future TVL Individuals glory!
La Reina’s #2 selection in doubles stumbled against Nordhoff sister-combination of Alana and Claudia Adelman, who made the semifinals before losing to tournament #1-seeds Summer Christensen/McKenna Madden. Christensen and Madden remain undefeated in league and are looking forward to a showdown with the defending champions.
The final round and the third place matches will be held at Cate beginning at 3pm on Thursday.