Next stop: Sectional
tournament in L.A.
“We knew Vista would field a very strong, young team,” said team captain Stacey Dusseault. “But we knew we were stronger. Their regular season record was 21-3, but we were an undefeated team capable of winning.”
For the championship, the teams submit their line-up consisting of three co-ed teams. Both Vista and Riviera Oaks mixed up the strength in their line-ups (putting their strongest teams at lines 2 and 3 instead of lines 1 and 2), which ended up being a huge advantage to the Riviera Oaks team headquartered at Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club at 25382 Pappas Road in San Diego Country Estates.
“It’s always tough to strategize when you get to a championship level,” said Dusseault. “But we knew any way we matched up against Vista we had the upper hand.”
The first from Riviera Oaks to come off the court victorious was the team of Michael Moberg and Shelley Goodson.
“We were nervous for Mike going into the match, because he sat out an entire month before the match with a back injury,” commented Dusseault.
But during the match, there was no sign of injury as Moberg and Goodson dominated the Vista team in just over an hour with a score of 6-1, 6-3.
The team that secured the overall match win for Riviera Oaks was the dominant team of Larry Mehelic and Tori Barlow.
“Larry and Tori played absolutely superior tennis,” said Dusseault. “They defeated a team that in their seven matches of regular season play only lost an average of three games per match.”
Mehelic and Barlow stunned the Vista team with a 6-1, 6-4 win to capture the title for Riviera Oaks.
Michael Mulligan and CorriAyn Harvey continued to battle Vista in an exciting match but were unable to secure a sweep and lost 6-2, 7-5.
“It was a close match that could have gone either way,” said Dusseault. “Mike and CorriAyn played strong with a lot of heart.”
The next goal for the team is the USTA Sectional Championships in September. The team will travel to Los Angeles to compete against teams from Southern California for a chance to represent Southern California at the USTA Nationals.
The format at the sectional tournament will be round-robin. Riviera Oaks will have to defeat three tough teams from Southern California.
“We’ve been told Southern California teams show up with a lot of depth,” said Dusseault.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us to improve the depth on our team before September. We’re up to the challenge and are looking forward to bringing home the championship to San Diego.”