With quarterfinal and semifinal rounds complete in Tri-Valley League Individuals, Cate Girls’ Tennis has taken both doubles berths and one of the two singles berths that will advance to compete in the CIF Individuals Tournament.
Cate freshman Grace Fuss was impressive in her quarterfinal match, with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Cara Dienst (Thacher), but faced a much closer battle in the semifinal round. Despite winning the first set 6-0 and looking set to dominate the second set, Fuss was forced to a third set super-breaker by sophomore Tiara Nourishad (La Reina).
In the end, Grace played some really clutch tennis to earn a 10-7 victory, but she had us all nervous for a bit. We’ll chalk it up to freshman nerves though, and the bottom line is, when it came down to it, she knew how to win. I loved the intensity she showed after getting down 2-4 in the super-breaker.
In doubles action, Cate teams headlined the draw with the top two seeds. Summer Christensen and Sarah Polowczak came into the tournament 23-0 (17-0 in league) as the top seed and backed up the seeding by winning their first match without dropping a game and beating the sister-duo Summer and Sherlynn Khouvilay from Foothill Tech 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinal round. For Christensen, this is familiar territory as last season’s Tri-Valley doubles runner-up, but for Polowczak, a sophomore, this is her first appearance in the individuals tournament.
Summer and Sarah have literally been an unbeatable combination all season long. They make a great combination, with Summer’s powerful baseline game and Sarah essentially owning the net. These two are really a fun combination to watch!
The #2-seed belonged to sister’s Jackie and Carol Cai. Jackie, a junior, could have been a seeded player in the singles draw, but chose instead to partner with her freshman sister and the combination has been deadly. Carol Cai went 18-0 in doubles league play with several different partners and, with her older sister at her side, formed a doubles combination for the tournament.
The Cai sisters breezed through both matches played today, dropping just 3 games in four sets played. The pair will play their teammates and #1-seeded team Christensen and Polowczak in the league final.
While the Jackie/Carol Cai and Summer Christensen/Sarah Polowczak are likely to play their finals match at the Cate School, Grace Fuss will play Sophia Aulicino, a senior and the only singles player undefeated in league play, on Thursday at Pierpont Tennis Club in Ventura at 1pm.