Cate Moves to 7-0 with Second Win Over Rival Thacher in Ojai

Cate Girls’ Tennis won a 10-8 contest over Thacher in Ojai today in what was a battle between the top two schools in the Tri-Valley League.

After defeating Thacher 13-5 earlier in the season, Cate featured a very different lineup in this match, and what is likely for tomorrow’s match against San Marcos.

Carol Cai and Ashi Kamra went 3-0 at #2 doubles while first-year varsity players Julianna Forry and Maesa Vongkusolkit went 2-1, with their lone loss coming in a tie-break set against the top Thacher pair on the day.

In singles, Grace Fuss recorded three 6-0 victories, while the key victory belonged to freshman Ellie Tunnell. Tunnell, playing at #2 singles for the first time, gutted out an 8-6 tie-break win in the second round that turned out to be critical to the overall victory.

Coach Thorpe’s Comments:

Ellie was awesome today. She’s the only freshman that made varsity and yet here she is picking up a big win for us in a tight match against our league rivals.

The young players deserve a lot of credit for our success this season, with Julianna and Maesa also stepping up for two wins today.

Grace and Carol are our automatic six sets but they’re also our senior captains. It’s good to know we’ve got young guns stepping up to the plate because we’re going to have big shoes to fill next season.

What’s Next for Cate Girls’ Tennis?

Cate plays again tomorrow at 3pm on Cate Mesa for a chance to finally lay claim to the title “best team in Santa Barbara County.” Their opponent, San Marcos High, has narrowly defeated them each of the last four seasons.

Cate Wins Battle of Undefeated Tri-Valley Teams 13-5

In a match between two undefeated teams, only one team can come out the other end with their streak intact. In today’s match, Cate girls’ tennis moved to 4-0 on the season with a victory over previously undefeated Thacher (6-1).

Grace Fuss led the charge, winning all three of her sets on the day without dropping a game. Fuss has now won 54 of 55 games en-route to a 9-0 mark on the season.
Aminah Hill played her best tennis to take impressive wins over Thacher’s top two players, before receiving a default win in the final round-of-play.

In doubles, Cate’s top duo dropped just two games across three sets. Carol Cai and Fritze Mayer, like Fuss, move to 9-0 on the season at the #1 position. Mayer is also 3-0 in singles play for a 12-0 mark at this stage of her junior season.

Sophomores Julianna Forry and Maesa Vongkusolkit continue to impress at #3 doubles, taking two of three sets (3-6, 6-2, 6-1) against a tough Thacher doubles lineup.
Cate has now won 37 consecutive Tri-Valley League matches, dating back to October of 2014.

Coach Thorpe’s Comments

This was our most complete match of the season. We were firing on all cylinders on every court throughout the day. Our doubles teams are starting to execute the strategies we’ve been practicing more and more seamlessly.

In singles, I thought Aminah reached another level with her mental toughness. She totally impressed me today and the scary part is, I firmly believe she’s just starting to tap into her potential as a competitive tennis player.

On the other end of things, Grace has been absolutely devastating this season. Her game really picked up last season and she’s carried that aggressive, tenacious baseline striking into this season nicely. She has blossomed into one of just three truly dominant singles players I’ve had the pleasure of coaching at Cate across 11 seasons.

What’s Next for Cate Girls’ Tennis?

Cate plays again on Thursday against St. Bonaventure High School at 3:45pm. The match will take place at Ventura College.

Cate Girls Dominate Thacher in Ojai

IMG_1417Cate has come out a 13-5 winner in a match contested by two undefeated teams. Thacher is last year’s CIF D4 playoff champion, while Cate is coming off two consecutive D2 quarterfinal appearances. The teams finished second and first (respectively) in last year’s Tri-Valley League and both came into the match 4-0 on the season. Continue reading

Laguna Blanca Tennis Now 10-3, Ranked #7 in CIF

With just three matches left, Laguna Blanca Boys’ Tennis continues to roll towards a CIF Playoff appearance. The team will need to win its final three matches to clinch a playoff spot. Here’s a quick recap of the last two weeks of play:

Laguna Blanca @ Foothill Tech (9-9, 72-68)

In what has been the closest match of the season, the Owls narrowly defeated a strong Foothill Tech team. The teams were evenly matched in the singles positions, with Alex Furukawa taking two wins and Victor Liu and Kai Nakamura pitched in wins over Foothill #3 player Ethan Wang.

Doubles was a lopsided affair, with the Foothill #1’s easily taking their three sets, while Laguna gave just a handful of games up against in the other six sets. In the end, the margin of victory on the doubles side of the match set Laguna up to win by four games.

Laguna Blanca v. Cate School (3-15)

The Cate School remains undefeated on the season, having already beaten Dos Pueblos, San Marcos, and Santa Barbara High Schools on the strength of the Ha brothers (Kevin, Ethan) in singles and a stellar #1 doubles pairing. This is the big year for Cate, as three of these four players will graduate or be ineligible for the 2018 season.

Although the score appears lopsided, the Owls took great satisfaction from the match, coming away with some high-quality experience and the knowledge that four of the lost sets were very evenly contested (6-7, 6-7, 5-7, 5-7). In particular, Laguna’s #1 doubles duo Conor Scheinberg and Jason Barnick impressed with their gutsy performances on the day, winning two sets and losing to Cate’s #1’s in a tie-break set.

Laguna Blanca v. Carpinteria (12-6)

In the first match of the season against Carpinteria, Laguna barely squeaked by with a 10-8 victory after struggling in doubles play. This time, with partnerships more settled, Laguna was able to take and hold a steady lead throughout the match.

Alex Furukawa was dominant at #1 singles, dropping just a couple games. Victor Liu also beat the Carpinteria #2 by a much greater margin than he had in the first match. Kai Nakamura nearly ended the match with a win over Jeremy Saito (Carp’s #1) after battling for nearly an hour to a 7-9 tie-break loss.

Laguna Blanca @ Thacher (4-14)

In what was a somewhat forgettable performance, Laguna failed to pull in a single set in doubles play. Singles play was more evenly matched, with Furukawa taking two wins and Liu and Nakamura each winning once and playing close sets against the Thacher #2. Thacher held a 7-1 record going into the match while playing a division above Laguna and their strength in depth was just too much for the Owls.

Laguna Blanca @ Lompoc (16-2)

The owls dominated every position in the lineup except at #2 doubles. Though the windy conditions played to the advantage of the home-team, the Owls brought too much experience to the match to be challenged. This win also marks the 10th victory of the season, making it five consecutive season the Owls have achieved double-digit wins. For more about past performances, check out the Laguna Blanca Team History page.

Looking Ahead

Laguna Varsity Boys’ Tennis faces three more opponents in the regular season, including two that have already been beaten by the Owls earlier in the year. Assuming a sweep of these matches, Laguna would finish the season 13-3, clinching a wildcard playoff berth with a more than 80% win-percentage. In addition, Laguna Blanca remains a top-10 ranked team in CIF D4, coming in at #7 in the most recent poll.

CIF April 24 Rankings