The varsity girls tennis team placed 10th out of 20 teams in Division I at the California High School Tennis Championship in Fresno 2 weekends ago and finished with an overall record of 2-2. The tournament had a total of 5 divisions and over 90 teams.
The tournament began on Friday, September 11. The first match was against Granite Bay High School, where the team lost 1-6. They then played Tamalpais High school, whom they defeated 6-1.
“I know that the first match we played, we played a really good team, probably the top team in Sacramento, so I was confident [for] the second round,” varsity tennis coach Hung Nguyen said. “We dominated [Tamalpais]. That gave us a lot of confidence going into the second day of the tournament.”
The team began the second day of the tournament playing Homestead High School. Nguyen said that since Homestead and LAHS are both in the De Anza League, it was an important match to qualify for CCS.
After the first six games of the match, Homestead and LAHS were tied 3-3. Junior Marika Lee had lost her first set 1-6 and was losing her second set 1-4.
“I assumed [my opponent] was going to win,” Marika said. “My coach told me to start hitting softer and to hit all the balls in.”
Marika won the second set 6-4. She then went on to win the tiebreaker 10-7.
According to Nguyen, the win against Homestead could help LAHS with its CCS standing.
“That was the icing on the cake of the tournament,” Nguyen said. “[Homestead is] in our De Anza League so if it comes down to a tiebreaker for CCS, that might put us over the edge.”
The team then lost its final match against Bakersfield Christian High School 3-4, placing second in the consolation final.
According to Nguyen, it was difficult for players to overcome the heat in Fresno.
“I knew the heat might be a factor, and in some way it [was] a factor,” Nguyen said. “Our final opponent was from Bakersfield so they were used to the weather.”
Only 12 members of the team were able to attend the tournament, and many seniors were absent due to ACT testing. According to Nguyen, this was another challenge during the tournament.
The team spent three days in Fresno. According to senior Sarah Loebner, this enabled them to bond and strengthen their team dynamic.
“Bonding helps in matches because you know the team’s got your back and they’re totally rooting for you,” Sarah said.
Nguyen still hopes to improve the team’s consistency.
“We still have a lot of rough edges,” Nguyen said. “The fall season starts pretty quickly. I think more consistency and more match play and we will do well.”