Cate girls’ tennis fell by a final score of 10-8 today against visiting league rival Foothill Tech. The match was an absolute nail-biter, with the score going neck-and-neck throughout the first two hours of play.
Cate picked up a crucial win from #1 singles player Alyna Takahashi, who defeated Foothill’s Kira Branson 6-2. Takahashi would go on to win her remaining sets and move to 6-0 in Tri-Valley League play.
Foothill responded with a quick win at #3 doubles, but Cate countered with a 6-3 win from Sophie Alijani and Claire Bianchi at the #2 spot. Cate also got a crucial victory from freshman Elsie Chamberlain, who finished the day 2-0.
The final two sets of the first round ended with tie-break wins from Foothill Tech at #2 singles and #1 doubles, the result being a 3-3 tie instead of a 5-1 Cate lead.
In the second set, Cate took two sets again in singles, but failed to scratch across three doubles sets, that also included another tie-break loss against the visiting team’s #1 doubles pair. Alijani and Bianchi even had a set-point serving at 5-4, but were pushed back by a determined Foothill team that played some of their best tennis in the crucial moments.
Round three began with Cate slightly ahead in overall games won, but down 5-7 in sets, meaning they’d need 4-of-6 sets in the final round to take victory. Cate singles took 2-of-3 in quick order, with junior Frances Davis breaking through for her only win of the day at an important moment.
With the doubles left on-court, Cate faced an uphill battle, starting down 0-3, 1-2, and 0-3 across the three courts. Top Cate duo Ella and Colette Chang rallied, winning their last 5 games for their first set-win on the day, but Cate’s #2 and #3 teams were unable to get past their foes, resulting in a loss by the narrowest of margins.
Cate, now 1-2 overall, will play again on Tuesday, traveling away for the first time this season to face Laguna Blanca in Hope Ranch.