Athletes of the week: Senior girls contribute to RHS tennis history

The seniors on Ramona High School’s Valley League championship tennis team pose with Coach Doug Failla. From left: Kelly Gallagher, Brie Frandsen, Dayna Lake, Emily Hansen, and Taylor Jennings. Not pictured: Ellen Douglass. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino
The seniors on Ramona High School’s Valley League championship tennis team pose with Coach Doug Failla. From left: Kelly Gallagher, Brie Frandsen, Dayna Lake, Emily Hansen, and Taylor Jennings. Not pictured: Ellen Douglass. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

By Bill Tamburrino

The Ramona High School girls varsity tennis team made one of the biggest turnarounds in school athletic history and won the Bulldogs’ first girls tennis championship. It was a team effort and every team member contributed.

The seniors on the team will move on after the post season ends. The juniors, sophomores and freshmen will come back and defend that championship.

Six seniors competed for Coach Doug Failla’s championship team and they are this week’s

Ramona Sentinel’s

Athletes of the Week.

Dayna Lake is competing in her fourth varsity campaign. She is the team captain and leader. Lake competed in the Valley League as a freshman. During her sophomore and junior seasons, the tennis team was placed in the Palomar League. This season all but the football team was placed back in the Valley League.

Lake is a fierce competitor. She is the only senior who gave thought of seriously challenging for a league title.

“I seriously hoped that we would have an opportunity to win. Del Norte was the pre-season favorite and when we beat them in our first match I knew that we had a serious chance to win the championship,” said Lake.

When asked how the change in league affected the team, Lake responded, “We had a much better attitude. We knew that we had a chance and could compete. In the Palomar League everybody knew that we never had a chance. We are now competing with schools that are more like ours.”

Lake’s 4.8 grade point average (GPA) on her last report card and her overall 4.5 would impress most but as one reads, one will understand why she is just one of the girls when it comes to grades with the tennis team’s seniors.

Taylor Jennings is in her first year of varsity competition. She played on the junior varsity as a junior. Jennings has a 4.5 GPA. When asked what she thought the chances of winning the league were before the season, Jennings responded, “I knew that we had a better chance of being competitive in the Valley League but until we beat Del Norte I never gave a serious thought to winning the league.”

Ellen Douglass is a second year varsity player. She is a 4.35 GPA student and won the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Voice of Democracy speech/essay contest last year and wants to enter as many speech contests as she can this year. Douglass has only been playing tennis for four years and started playing at RHS as a sophomore.

“I never dreamed that we had a chance of winning the league. I knew that if we worked hard that we would have a much better chance of competing than we had last season, but until we beat the league favorite in our first match I was just happy that we would have a chance to compete,” Douglass said.

Kelly Gallagher played last season in the Palomar League. This is her second varsity campaign. She has a 4.5 GPA and plans on becoming a nurse.

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