Ramona High School’s home court, Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club, played host to the Valley League Girls’ Singles and Doubles Individual Championships.
“It is the best venue in the league and it is a great place to host the individual championships,” said one Valley League coach. “The courts are excellent and the atmosphere is great for the players and spectators.”
Comments at the tournament were that Coach Doug Failla and the Lady Bulldogs and the staff at Riviera Oaks were excellent hosts and the entire event went very well.
The purpose of the individual tournament is to determine individual league champions in singles and doubles play. It gives good players from teams that might have been weak to earn individual honors. Several players who normally play singles teamed up with teammates to play doubles.
“Most of the number one singles players played doubles because Lacy Smyth (San Marcos) is so dominate in singles play,” said Failla. “Talent can get a doubles team through the first round or two, but chemistry is very important in doubles play, so teams that have played doubles all season usually end up winning the championship.”
In singles action, Ramona sent five Lady Bulldogs to the individual’s tournament. Four were in the upper half of the bracket.
Jennica Castillo opened the first round with a straight set win over Cindi Tran of Mt. Carmel with scores of 6-1 and 6-0. Dayna Lake drew the seven seed and beat Cari Clark of San Marcos 6-3 and 6-0. Rebeca Romero drew the five seed and beat Kathrine Morillo of Oceanside High School 6-0 and 6-0.
Amy Jordan fell to the number four seed Caroline Zhao of Westview 6-1 and 6-0. Ali Geber lost to Megan Bovier of Westview 6-2 and 6-0.
In round two, Castillo faced the number one seed, Lacey Smyth, of San Marcos and was eliminated with scores of 6-0 and 6-0. Freshman Dayna Lake advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Hannah Adams of San Marcos 6-1 and 6-0.
Romero also advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Charlette Beimesche of Mt. Carmel 6-1 and 6-3.
Lake faced two time defending Valley League champion, Lacey Smyth, in the quarterfinals. Smith has been undefeated in league play since she lost in the league finals her freshman season. She eliminated Lake 6-0 and 6-0 and went on to win her third league championship.
Romero faced the number three seed Caroline Zhao and took the first set 6-1. Zhao rallied to eliminate Romero by winning the final two sets 6-0 and 6-1, and she went on to finish third in the tourney.
Ramona sent four doubles teams to the Valley League individual’s tournament. Andrea Briseno and Rachel Vaca lost in the first round to Emily McKeon and Debbie Hoang of Mt. Carmel 6-1 and 6-2. Katie Hoffman and Ashley Shields drew the number seven seed and beat Raychel Allen and Hana Gilbert of Valley Center 6-1 and 6-1.
Jordan McWhorter and Laura Meng lost to Megan Aldridge and Malinda Massing of Orange Glen in a tough match by scores of 7-6 (7-1) and 6-3. Rachel Williams and Sami Marsch beat Stephanie Roman and Rachel Petit of Orange Glen 6-0 and 6-0 to advance to the second round.
In round two action. Shields and Hoffman advanced to the quarterfinals by beating McKeon and Hoang of The Mount 6-1 and 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. Williams and Marsch lost to the number eight seed, Lorin Farr and Janelle Hiroshige of Mt. Carmel, 6-3 and 6-1.
Shields and Hoffman lost to the number one seed, Bella Genkina and Sabi Leon-Chao, in the quarterfinals 6-0 and 6-0 to end their stellar senior seasons. Genkina and Leon-Chao went on to win the league title.
The tournament was called a great way to finish the season and Ramona’s tenure in the Valley League. Next season the Lady Bulldogs will be competing in the Palomar League.