Cate Girls’ Tennis was utterly dominant over the weekend against Stevenson (Pebble Beach) and the Webb School.
The tournament, hosted at the Cate Mesa, brought the three prep school programs together for a round-robin format tournament. The Nor Cal high school format was used, meaning each team fielded four singles players and three doubles teams in the head-to-head matches. Matches were played best-of-three sets, with a 10-point tie-breaker to decide the third set.
Cate v. Stevenson, 6-1 Win
The sole loss for Cate on the day came at #1 singles, where Grace Fuss faces former ITF junior player Eszter Speder. In fact, it was a victory of sorts, with the experienced Hungarian bringing out the very best in Fuss, who battled back from an 0-6 first set to take the second set 6-4 and force a 10-point tie-breaker for the deciding set.
The rest of the matches were straight-set wins for Cate, with Fritze Mayer, Carol Cai, and Yuki Kobayashi dropping just six games across six sets-of-play at singles #2-4.
The doubles lineup equalled that feat with just six games dropped in their six sets. Sarah Polowczak and Aminah Hill took a 6-0, 6-1 victory at the #1 position; Sydney Burton and Jennifer Soh won 6-1, 6-0 at #2; and Mia Foster and Madeline Vanica won 6-1, 6-3 in the final doubles position. In exhibition play, Kate Tunnell and Ashi Kamra partnered to defeat their Stevenson opponents 6-1, 6-1.
I’m very pleased with the way we played on every court, and its clear that our depth is hugely important to our success. What’s extremely encouraging is that our ace at the top of the lineup is really hitting her stride at just the right moment in the season. That breaker could have gone either way; they were tied at six all, seven all, and eight all. Grace didn’t even play poorly in the last two points, but credit to Speder for raising her level at the key moment.
Cate v. Webb, 7-0 Win
Cate dropped just eight games across eight sets of play in singles. Grace Fuss led the charge with a 6-0, 6-0 win, while Carol Cai, Sydney Burton, and Yuki Kobayashi all put in similar performances at the #2-4 positions (respectively).
In doubles, Sarah Polowczak moved to a perfect 19-0 in her final season at Cate, partnering for the second time this weekend with standout freshman Aminah Hill. The doubles combinations of Kate Tunnell/Madeline Vanica and Mia Foster/Ashi Kamra blended youth and experience garner two more straight-set victories for the Rams.
I thought we executed what we’ve been working on in practice better than in this stretch of four matches in five days. Maybe the best part is, now our schedule lightens up and we can go back to the practice courts to polish those skills and add some more advanced ones in the next couple of weeks before playoffs.
What’s Next for Cate
The Rams face the Laguna Blanca Owls later today to complete the first round of league play. The match will be played at Laguna Blanca’s Hope Ranch Campus, beginning at 3:30pm.
Photo Credits: Walter Polowczak