RHS girls tennis wins Valley League championship
By Bill Tamburrino
Coach Matt McCormick’s Bulldog girls tennis team defended its Valley League Championship by beating Del Norte High School in a classic battle on the courts last Tuesday.
The Lady Bulldogs displayed all of the qualities that justify high school athletics. They used power, finesse, resilience, fortitude, strategy, teamwork and grit.
It got down to the third tiebreaker to determine the match, championship and seeding in the upcoming team CIF playoffs. At the end of regulation, the match was tied 9-9. The first tiebreaker is the number of games won. Both teams won 69 games. The next tiebreaker is doubles sets won. Ramona won six doubles sets to Del Norte’s three so Ramona won the Oct. 22 match. If two teams tie for a league championship, the team that won the most recent match is declared champion for seeding purposes. Hence, the Ramona girls tennis team won the 2013 Valley League championship, got the No. 5 seed in the Division II CIF team playoffs, and received a home match at Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club against Hilltop High School.
“We saw patterns in Del Norte’s positioning and strategy the first time we played them and we worked on them the last two weeks. The girls played their best tennis of the season when it really counted. They wanted to win the championship and the seniors really wanted to go out as league champions for the second straight year,” said McCormick.
“Jessica Failla put on another amazing display of complete domination winning all three of her sets by landslides,” he said.
“Megan Douglass and Hanna Kent both played tough and picked up two valuable games apiece,” McCormick said when summing up the singles action.
The doubles teams were the biggest difference in the championship match. Lauren Dunker and Rebecca Vaca won all three sets but it took a gallant come-from-behind victory in their second match to set the tone for the match. Trailing 0-3 and 4-5, Dunker and Vaca won the last two sets on the final point of each set. That changed the momentum. Cassidy Owens and Danielle Vizcarra dominated their opponents in all three sets to pick up 3 team points.
The No. 3 doubles team, Caroline Lopresti and Alyssa Virgilio, bounced back from a 1-6 loss in their first set to play the No. 2 and No. 1 Del Norte doubles teams very tough.
“Caroline and Alyssa battled all day long and came close to upsetting their two best doubles teams, but more importantly they earned 11 games which really helped when the match was decided by the third tiebreaker,” said McCormick.
Lopresti and Virgilio were the last set to play and both teams took sides on opposite ends of their court. Parents, fans, grandparents, two former Lady Bulldog coaches, and a member of the first Lady Bulldog tennis team to win a match were all on hand for the final set.
“This is the second time this year we have won a tiebreaker. This was the closest and most exciting high school match I have ever seen. The victory and championship was truly tribute to all of the hard work the young ladies have put in this season,” McCormick said. The coach extended his thanks to “the girls, their families, the Ramona tennis community, Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club and especially our awesome athletic director, Damon Baldwin, for all they have done to contribute to this championship season.”
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- RHS girls tennis beats Valley League favorite
- Bulldog girls win Valley League tennis championships
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