Top-ranked girls varsity tennis marches on in CIF; high school, college roundups
Top-ranked girls varsity tennis marches on in CIF
The Lady Wolfpack came into Wednesday afternoon’s CIF first-round match brimming with confidence. The Pack easily clinched first place in the Sierra League without dropping one overall match. They squared off against Century League’s 3rd place Foothill High School Knights from Tustin, who won their wildcard bracket earlier in the week. In front of home supporters, Claremont manhandled Foothill 14 sets to 4.
Each of Claremont’s 3 seeded singles players rotated to play each of Foothill’s top singles players, while the 3 doubles pairings also followed a round robin format against Foothill’s doubles teams. When all was said and done, CHS had the game wrapped up at the arbitrary halfway point of the match.
“This is a good win for us. We had a couple girls out injured so I made a few adjustments to the lineup, but the girls played up to my expectations,” Coach Tom Spinosa said.
After the first round, it was clear which team possessed the most experience. The Wolfpack took all 6 first-round sets, with singles players Toby Miclat, Drew Spinosa and Cindy Liu handling their opponents with conviction.
Top seeded doubles duo Sophie El-Kara and Sharon Stanislaus set the tone with a dominant set against Foothill’s top team. The second doubles pairing of Hailey Kayatta and Nikki Rival handled their set, and third pairing Joyce Kim and Ryley Settles won their set comfortably. Coach Spinosa added, “Joyce filled in nicely considering her lack of experience at the varsity level.”
During the second round of play, the Wolfpack kept their foot on the gas. Playing attacking tennis, Miclat took apart her adversary with deep, low groundstrokes. El-Kara and Stanislaus worked their serve-and-volley game against their overmatched opponents, who could only manage a few points throughout the set. Liu played tall, figuratively speaking, with a flat, quick first serve that was rarely returned to her by her challenger. Claremont only dropped one set during this round, and the score stood at 11-1 after the first 12 sets.
At this point, Coach Spinosa substituted in Natalie Reagan for some vital playoff experience, and she played a tough third-round set. Claremont dropped 3 sets in this round. The Wolfpack nearly swept all 9 singles sets, and won 6 out of the 9 doubles sets, putting the final score at 14-4.
Looking forward, Coach Spinosa noted this was the first time this particular team got past the first round of playoffs.
The team needs to stay relaxed and focus on one point at a time, so we don’t get ahead of ourselves,”?he said. “This is new territory, but we have a good chance of beating Beverly Hills.”
Claremont faces off against Beverly Hills High School this weekend. In the past 9 years, they have won a CIF title 3 times. This year, however, Beverly Hills finished 2nd place in the Ocean League. They squeaked by Burbank in the previous playoff round 11-7. The Claremont-Beverly Hills score will be posted in the Wednesday edition of the COURIER.
If the Wolfpack are triumphant, they will play on Monday, November 5 at 2 p.m. in the CIF quarterfinals against the winner of Troy and Hart.
Claremont dropped their final regular season match against Ayala in straight sets Tuesday evening. The Wolfpack ended the season with an impressive 17-10 overall mark, 5-5 in league matches.
Vivian Webb was unable to muster any momentum against Chadwick, losing in straight sets. The loss drops the Gauls’ league record to 6-6. However, Vivian Webb will move on to the first round of CIF competition as they had already clinched a spot. The playoff draw is on Saturday.
BOYS WATER POLO
Webb fell behind to Pasadena Poly early and was unable to recover, dropping their regular season finale 17-7. The upset-minded Gauls put in a strong season and could have moved on with a win, but just missed out on playoffs this year.
The Wolfpack put in a fantastic performance overall at the Mt. SAC Sierra League Finals on Tuesday. Claremont’s girls beat out Ayala by 3 points for the league championship, with Megan Renken running 2nd place, Merin Arft finishing 5th and Julia Cantrell posting a personal best, good for 7th. The boys finished as co-league champions, with league MVP Jimmy Baeskens finishing in first place, Adam Johnson posting his best time this season, and Aric Crowell rounding out the top 7. CIF-SS playoff preliminaries will take place at Mt. SAC on Saturday, November 10.
Citrus 1, Bakersfield 0
P-P 2, Cal Lutheran 1 (OT)
Chapman 0, C-M-S 0 (Chapman wins on PKs 3-2)
Santa Barbara 3, Citrus 1
Bakersfield 3, Citrus 0
MENS WATER POLO
C-M-S 18, Occidental 3
P-P 10, Chapman 9
SWIMMING & DIVING
WOMEN: UCSD 256, C-M-S 44
MEN: UCSD 234, C-M-S 66
WOMEN: P-P finished 3rd out of 4 teams
MEN: P-P finished 1st out of 2 teams
Western State Conference Championships
Citrus finished 5th out of 5 teams