Eagles edge ahead of Spartans in first non-league match


Barrett Wong

Junior Sofia Mujica completes a serve in a doubles match against Mountain View. In their closest match of the season, the varsity girls tennis team beat tough rival Mountain View 4-3.

As the sun set down upon the Los Altos High School tennis courts, one final nail-biting match between sophomore Melody Ghaffari and Mountain View High School sophomore Audrey Shen was set to determine the winner. After winning a previous tiebreaker set went in favor of Melody, players watched as an intense rally ensued between the two players. At last, with one final volley, the Eagles were declared victorious, beating the Spartans 4–3.  

Even though this was a non-league match, it was unclear if the LAHS team was prepared enough to take on a strong MVHS team. Because the Eagles moved down to the El Camino League this year, the team doesn’t get the opportunity to face off against tough competition like MVHS very often. However, it was made clear early on that the players were ready for the challenge.

“I was worried that the level we’ve played at didn’t prepare the girls well enough,” head coach Hung Nguyen said. “However, once we adapted, we really started to play well.”

This turned out to be true, as LAHS won all three of their doubles matches. Although pregame jitters were an issue to begin with, perseverance was what ultimately helped the duos find success. 

“I initially felt nervous since Mountain View is in a higher league,” junior Emma Boschken said. “But we just had to stay positive and keep playing our game.” 

The singles matches, on the other hand, proved to be a bit more difficult. The Eagles lost three out of the four singles matches in both sets against their opponents. However, winning the final match 7–5 and 6–3 made it clear that having the right mindset made all the difference.

“It takes a lot of mental toughness to play opponents who can hit the ball back faster each time,” Nguyen said. “Constantly playing each other during practice definitely prepared them for that.”

While this match wasn’t as consistent as the previous matches they’ve played, their match against MVHS helped to introduce the players to the kind of skill they would be facing if they were to move up a league. Even though this transition will be a big jump in skill level from the teams they’ve faced this year, today’s match is proof that they have what it takes to compete at that level. 

“This year we’ve already beaten the top two teams from the upper division,” Nguyen said, referencing the Eagles’ non-league wins against both Homestead and MVHS. “I’m confident that we’ll win our league this year, which will allow us to move up to the De Anza league for the 2022 season.” 

The undefeated Eagles head into their next league match against Gunn High School, scheduled for Tuesday, March 16. If they maintain their current level of play, it is likely that Nguyen’s goal will soon be accomplished.