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CHS girls’ tennis wins fifth straight league title

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

On Thursday, the Claremont High School girls tennis team added a fifth consecutive title to their history after they defeated Glendora High School at home, 16-2. The match not only closed out Palomares league play, but also extended the team’s unbeaten run to 12 matches.

With the Pack’s win Tuesday over Alta Loma High School and on Thursday versus the Tartans, Claremont officially has an undefeated league record at 10-0, 12-2 overall.

Similar to Tuesday’s match, Claremont’s doubles teams again swept their opponent, 9-0, over Glendora.

Elizabeth Gonzalez and sophomore Camila Fernandez dropped just three games, going 6-2, 6-0, and 6-1 against the Tartans. During their third set, Glendora’s Peyton Luna-Dube suffered a dislocated finger, prompting her coach to substitute Miriam Kahlil. Sophomore Paige Ruffner and senior Kareen Holstrom won two of their three sets, 6-0, and while their second set saw the duo struggle, they rose to the challenge and finished with a 6-4 win.

The Claremont doubles team of juniors Kyriaki Papadatos and Angelina Alkhouri, proved to be a dominant force, dropping just two games in the process of winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0, and 6-1.

On the singles’ side, the girls dropped just two sets in a 7-2 rout.

Junior Sydney La again swept all three of her sets and did so with a perfect record, going 6-0, 6-0, and 6-0. Sophomore Irma Garcia won her first and third sets, 6-2, but against Glendora’s top player, Steff Lam, she lost 2-6. Senior Alyssa Miao had a strong showing in her first and second sets against GHS’s number three and two players; however, when pitted against Lam, she lost, 0-6.

After enjoying their win over GHS, the team celebrated their graduating seniors, Kareen Holstrom, Elizabeth Gonzales and Alyssa Miao. The trio stood on the steps adjacent to first court to deliver their words of gratitude for their loyal fans, supportive family members and great coach, Kathy Settles, for a wonderful four years of tennis. After wiping tears from their eyes, the group took team photos and indulged in some pizza and cookies.

Next Wednesday, October 27, the girls singles will host CIF prelims at home, with the hope of qualifying for the finals that Friday, October 29. The team will regroup on November 3 for their first round of CIF at home.

In the postseason Claremont competes in Division 1, and the competition will be stiff, particularly in the latter matches. Still, Coach Settles anticipates Claremont could do very well.

“I’m expecting us to have a tough first round but I think we can win our first round — depending on who we play — and then beyond that we’ll see. The girl’s have been playing better and better, they’re making so many improvements Coach Settles said. “Who knows what could happen.”

“I’m expecting to have a lot of girls qualify for individuals. At least one doubles team and one singles player,” she said.

While the team is graduating three hardworking leaders — among whom Gonzalez was a regular starter — the team will see many returning faces next season.

“We have a pretty young team is what I’m saying, so I would expect that next year we should still have a really good team,” Coach Settles said, explaining that “these things [transfers, league opponents] go in waves, you never know what other players are coming into the other teams. The year that we got five really good [freshman] players, that could happen anywhere.”

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