The Cate School played host, today, to the annual Tri-Valley League Individuals Tournament. It was mixed fortunes for the five schools in the league, with four schools sharing the finals positions, as Cate’s top-2 eschewed singles league glory for a shot at a deep run in CIF Individuals.
In singles, the top two seeds each dominated their opponents with straight-set wins. Top-seed Helena Insua of St. Bonaventure won her quarterfinal round 6-0, 6-0 and followed that up with a 6-0, 6-1 win over #3-seed Jacqueline Kong (Thacher) 6-0, 6-1.
Insua will face Natalie Cheng (Thacher) in the singles final, after Cheng took both of her matches on the day without dropping a single game. The third place singles match will take place between Yuki Kobayashi (Cate) and Jacqueline Kong.
In doubles, top-seeded Grace Fuss and Carol Cai (Cate) cruised to 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-1 victories. The team is comprised of the top-two singles players in the TVL this season, with the intention of the pair going deep into CIF Individuals.
On the other side of the draw, #2-seeded Fritze Mayer and Ashi Kamra, also of Cate, were narrowly defeated by last year’s third place team of Alyssa McClain and Jolie Seemayer (Foothill Tech). The Foothill Tech team took the match 7-6, 4-6, 10-3 to book their place in the finals against Fuss and Cai.
Coach Thorpe’s Comments:
On it’s face, today was maybe not the dominant display you’d expect for our team. It’s true that we haven’t lost a league match since 2014, but our league has some very solid players and we made some strategic decisions going into the tournament.
Grace and Carol were just a point or two away from winning their third CIF Regionals match as a doubles team last year, and we felt they have the chance to really do some damage as a doubles team.
That meant Fritze wouldn’t get to play with her normal partner Carol in individuals, but I think Ashi has really stepped up her game this year and they very nearly pulled off the win. That match between our girls and the Foothill Tech girls was a joy to watch. I can’t even be disappointed about the loss because I saw Fritze and Ashi reach their highest level in that match. On our team, that’s the big win and I’m very proud of their performance against a worthy opponent.
In singles, Yuki has made big strides this season and she took a nice win in the quarterfinals. Though she lost in the semifinal, she came off the court smiling and happy with her performance, and she’s still got a chance to take third place in league.
Mia Foster also got the opportunity to lay it on the line in singles. As a senior who’s spent most of her career playing doubles, I thought she played great, although it didn’t go her way.
In short, every participant from our team got something good out of the tournament today, and some very deserving players from other teams got through and will surely represent our league well in CIF Individuals.
What’s Next for Cate Girls’ Tennis?
All TVL Finals and 3rd-Place matches will take place at the Cate School at 2:30pm on Thursday, October 31st. Following the completion of league individuals, Cate will play in the first round of the CIF D1 Team Playoffs the following Wednesday.