Varsity girls tennis defeats Diamond Ranch
Varsity girls tennis defeated Diamond Ranch 17-1 in its last league match Thursday, Oct. 18.
The team remains undefeated in league with an overall record of 16-4.To celebrate Senior Night, the seniors’ last home league match of the season, all five seniors played.
“It was our senior night so we didn’t really want to lose games and we wanted to go out with a bang. So we just tried our hardest to get every point and to beat them with a big lead,” doubles player senior Theresa Lin said. “Senior night was a bittersweet moment because it was my last home tennis game. But I was happy that I got to have this experience with my team.”
Singles player freshman Vini Bautista, who went the entire match without losing a single game, won her first set 6-0 with consistent serves and low crosscourt hits, out-rallying her opponent. Increasing Walnut’s lead, singles player senior Priscilla Pranajasa won her set 6-2 by forcing backhand hits from her opponent. In addition, singles player junior Sara Majeed and also won her set 6-2, ending the first round 6-0.
“Before going into my match, I was very nervous because it was my last league game, so I expected myself to do my best and get the best score I could. However, since my team is very supportive, they gave me a pep talk and it really lifted my spirits before I went to go play my match. It really helps me to know that people believe in my skills enough to win my match,” Pranajasa said.
Walnut limited Diamond Ranch to only one singles win in the second round. Doubles players junior McKenzie Mai and sophomore Kylie Min beat their opponents 6-0. Doubles player senior Sunny Whang and Lin won 6-1 by hitting forehands and backhands down the alleys. Walnut secured its third doubles win when seniors Kimberly Kao and Danae Lee defeated their opponents 6-0.
“For doubles, there’s more trust in the game. [You] have a partner on the court with you,” Lin said. “We were down in the beginning and we were kind of nervous because we didn’t want to lose. We just worked harder in the end to regain the lead. We hustled after every ball instead of just waiting for them to come to us.”
In the final round, the Mustangs maintained their lead by winning all of their singles and doubles sets. Third-round substitute doubles players juniors Elaine Chen and Kelly Jensen, who won their set 6-0, and junior Juliette Radwanski and sophomore Kelsey Sarmiento, who won their set 6-3. Lin and Whang completed their sweep, winning their doubles sets 6-0, 6-1 and 6-4, respectively.
“I think being optimistic during games is certainly very helpful because it makes the game a lot more fun. Just always try your best and depend on your partner and believe that you can do it,” Kao said. “[Being on the team] is a really great experience. I feel like I was able to meet a lot of different people, overall, in my tennis career. It’s just like being part of another family.”
Players competed in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) League Preliminaries Tuesday, Oct. 23 and Thursday, Oct. 25. Bautista and Sanapanya qualified for singles, while junior Leanne Lim and Chen qualified for doubles. The team will compete in its first CIF game Wednesday, Oct. 31. Results were unavailable during press time.
By Sarah Aie, Copy editor-in-chief
Photo by Erin Tan