Girls tennis wins league finals

Varsity girls tennis played in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) preliminaries and league finals for singles and doubles on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and Thursday, Oct. 26.

Singles players freshman Julianna Vich and sophomore McKenzie Mai won their sets 6-0 alongside senior Crystal Xu, who won her sets 6-1 and 6-3 in the first round. Doubles players seniors Vivian Lee, Sara Santos and Florence Ao and sophomore Vianna Sanapanya also won all of their sets 6-0.

“At some point I think I just stopped thinking. I was so focused on hitting the ball that other thoughts didn’t go into my mind,” Xu said. “I just remembered to breathe slowly to slow down my heart as much as I could. I just kept trying to convince myself that I could win.”

Doubles players seniors Katherine Co and Eudora Fong were able to win their first round sets 6-4 and 6-1. In the following round, Co and Fong coordinated lobs and hit toward the alleys to combat their opponents’ forehand and backhand strokes. However, Co and Fong forfeited their match that round due to an injury.

“I think our doubles are really strong players because they have strong bonds with one another. Since they played together during season, they know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. They used that in [preliminaries] to win,” singles player sophomore Elaine Chen said. “We’re close enough to the point where we’re happy if anyone wins. It doesn’t matter as long as our team still wins overall.”

Despite having to play against their own teammates in the finals, the Mustangs ended the tournament with Vich winning singles 7-5 and 6-1 and Ao and Sanapanya winning doubles 6-1 and 6-1.  

“I think [the] matches went well. We played to our seatings; they were very good [games] for Walnut. I felt very proud of the varsity girls because we played very good tennis. For CIF, I think we should be able to go to the second round,” said varsity girls tennis coach Lee Shiomoto said.

Six players, Vich, Mai, Lee, Santos, Sanapanya and Ao, will represent Walnut in CIF individuals.

By Jacob Khuu, Staff writer
Photo by Erin Tan