CHS girls tennis beats tough Ayala team; big round up

Maybe it was the 95-degree heat that felt like a good 10 degrees more courtside, but the Claremont High School girls tennis team had a hard time putting away the Ayala Bulldogs on Tuesday in Claremont.

To be clear, Ayala and Claremont have long had the strongest programs in the Palomares League, fighting epic battles in the past. However, Coach Kathy Settles told the COURIER earlier this month the Bulldogs graduated some of their best talent and were not supposed to be as tough.

But that is how it goes in sports. You just never know for sure until the actual competition.

Claremont’s day was carried by its singles performance, particularly from number one seed junior, Goldie La, who did not drop a set and barely dropped a game. Ayala’s number one singles player, Katelyn Vu, performed almost as well, defeating Claremont’s number two sophomore Jacqueline Pearsall and Goldie’s sister freshman Sydney La.

“She continues to amaze me,” Coach Settles said about Goldie La’s performance. “She is just calm and takes care of business.”

In CIF sanctioned matches the teams play round robin sets, so after every rotation each player faces a new competitor. In the first round, the top seed players face each other, as do number two and three. In the next two rounds, they mix up the order until every player, or doubles team, has played each other.

Claremont emerged from the first round on Tuesday with a solid 4-2 lead. But Ayala looked like they would tie the score in the second round when Loren Tayag and Kaylene Guzman had a slight edge over Claremont juniors Jahday Drewery and Salma Mohideen. But Drewery and Mohideen rallied snatching a 7-5 victory in the final set of the round.

Which brought up the third and crucial round. Claremont quickly got two more singles wins, effectively securing at least a tie. But there were three doubles matches still on the court that were not going particularly well.

Through some uneven play and too many unforced errors, Claremont persevered and eventually pulled off the match victory when sophomores Elizabeth Gonzalez and Analiese Knight-Ward won their doubles set 6-3.

The Pack put icing on the cake when the doubles team of junior Caren Uribe and senior Camille Movafagian got a 7-6 (7-4) win in the day’s last match, just as dark began to set in.

“That was closer than I expected,” Coach Settles said after the match. “We have a tough singles line up but they [Ayala] have a great number one player and she beat everyone but Goldie.”

In response to some of the tough doubles matches, Coach Settles has confidence in her team’s ability to overcome the obstacles.

“We’re not quite where we need to be, but we started with our toughest opponent in the very first match,” she said. “The girls are all good players and I think they are still working it out how to play with their partner. A lot of the points [Ayala won] they were not earning as much as we were giving it to them, through unforced errors like double faults and missed returns. I know that under pressure it’s harder to make those shots but we have to be a little bit tougher in the big moments.”

Claremont, 5-1 overall, will be in league play for the next few weeks including an away match played against Alta Loma on Thursday after press time. The girls will have a rematch with Ayala on October 10 in Chino Hills.

CHS football piles on Ontario for big win

Claremont is on a roll with its third victory in three weeks, a resounding 31-0 thumping of Ontario last Friday in Ontario.

Coach Shane Hile played both of his starting quarterbacks, senior James Brazzill and junior Ricky Murillo. However, it was Murillo who saw most of the action, completing 13 passes for 248 yards. He also ran the ball in for two touchdowns.

Ryan Campuzano caught four passes for 102 yards including one 41-yard play. Alex Sotolongo caught six passes for 72 yards and had a 41-yard punt return, while Isaiah Love had three completions for 41 yards and a 27-yard kickoff return.

Claremont rushed for a total of 99 yards, with junior Justin Catchings racking up 63 of those while scoring one touchdown. Sophomore Adrian Amezquita rushed for 15 yards and also scored a touchdown.

The Pack had another night of very good defense, sacking the Ontario quarterback four times and, and delivering 48 total tackles. Junior Simon Jansezian got seven of those tackles, six solo, while Luke Pruitt had six tackles. Campuzano proved his worth on both offense and defense by adding four solo tackles to his stats.

With the win Claremont’s record advances to 3-1, and this Friday the boys will travel to Montclair for a game at 7 p.m.


CHS cross country has strong showing

Both the girls and boys varsity cross country teams placed third in the Richard Springs Invite last weekend in Peoria, Illinois. Out of 79 teams, the girls only lost to the top two girls cross country teams in the state of Illinois, one which is ranked 18th in the nation.

In a field of 78 teams, the boys were faster than number five, nine and 22 ranked teams in the nation, but got beat by the number 12 team and a top ranked local team.

“The trip to Peoria, Illinois was everything the team wanted in a fall Midwest cross country meet. A little rain, humid, great competition, and a fabled course,” Coach Bill Reeves said.

Girls golf wins easily

Claremont defeated Azusa, 222-368, on Tuesday at Azusa Greens golf course. Kelly Xu shot a par 35 followed by Maddie Stout at 40, Davorah Strober, 47, Mikala Purugganan 48, Ella Misawa, 52 and Olivia Yang, 55.

The girls hosted Azusa at Marshall Canyon Golf Course after press time Thursday. Next week they have a double header against Glendora.


CMS golf wins invitational

The number 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps mens golf team shot 11 under par over Sunday’s final round at the S Club, winning the Bulldog Invitational tournament by 21 strokes. CMS surpassed host Redlands with a three-round 847 (284-286-277) in its first event of the 2019-20 season, according to CMS Athletics.

CMS had a strong opening day on Saturday , hooting six under over 36 holes to take a big lead. The Stags were even better Sunday. All six Stags finished in the top 13 out of 42 competitors, with five shooting under par over the three rounds. The big win was even more remarkable considering reigning SCIAC Champion and league player of the year Mason Chiu did play not play last weekend.

All six Stags shot under par in the final round. Senior Austin Long had the top day, coming in with 67 to move up seven spots into a tie for fourth place with four under for the tournament. Also in the tie for fourth was senior Harrison Brenner, who finished off a consistent weekend with his second two-under round. 

CMS will be back in action when the team travels to Arizona for the Embry-Riddle Co-Ed Invitational on October 7.


CMS soccer strikes quickly

Senior defender Adam Singer and freshman forward Jake Allmon scored two goals a minute apart to turn a 1-1 tie into a two-goal lead late in the game as the No. 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps mens soccer team defeated Occidental, 3-1, on Saturday evening in Los Angeles.

With the victory, CMS now stands at 5-2 on the season, and 2-0 in the SCIAC. The Stags advance their early league record to 2-0, 5-2 overall, play beating Cal Lutheran, 2-0, on Wednesday.


SCIAC honors two Pomona-Pitzer athletes

Sophomores Sam Sasaki and Anna Ponzio were both named athletes of the week by the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, according to Pomona-Pitzer Athletics.

Sasaki scored three goals and had four assists as Pomona-Pitzer water polo notched conference wins last week over Caltech, 15-9, and California Lutheran, 9-6. Against Caltech, Sasaki scored twice and assisted two others. Against the Kingsmen he scored a goal and notched two more two assists.

Ponzio lead the Sagehens womens soccer team to SCIAC conference victories over La Verne, 4-0, and Chapman,1-0. The sophomore midfielder netted a goal in each contest, including the game winner against the Panthers. She finished with three shots, all three on goal, in each of Pomona-Pitzer’s games last week.


CIF commissioner’s message on ejections

California Intercollegiate Federation Southern Section Commissioner of Athletics Rob Wigod in his monthly message shared the ejection rate for players and coaches for the previous year.

Soccer was by far the highest with 866 ejections, followed by football, 324, water polo, 216, basketball, 194 and baseball, 170. From there the ejection rate declined considerably for other sports. It should be noted that cross country, track, tennis and golf had zero ejections.

Mr. Wigod noted that ejections are down slightly for 2018-2019 at 1,888 from 1,945 the previous season. He would like to see a scenario where ejections are reduced even further.

“Soccer continues to be the sport with the most ejections, by a wide margin. Over the years, people seem to just accept that situation as particular to that sport. I say no, it does not need to be that way. I say we resolve to do everything we can with our players and coaches to make a major difference in that number this year, with a commitment to reduce ejections, not only in soccer, but in every sport.” Mr. Wigod said.

—Steven Felschundneff


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