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Tennis setting solid foundation for new league

Alhambra’s Caserra Alva (pictured above) started her season off with a win against Salesian on Aug. 31, and then followed it up with a gutsy three-set loss to a College Park Falcon player on Sept. 1, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra’s Caserra Alva (pictured above) started her season off with a win against Salesian on Aug. 31, and then followed it up with a gutsy three-set loss to a College Park Falcon player on Sept. 1, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

The Alhambra tennis team started their season with back-to-back games to get themselves going this season.

On Wednesday, Aug. 31, Alhambra went up against Salesian-Richmond. The Bulldogs went down 4-5 in a tightly contested pro-set style match up. So the Varsity played 10 game pro sets and the JV played 8 game pro sets.

“It was a good day of tennis,” said coach Sarah Gallagher. “We are still sorting it all out as far as the ladder goes.”

At number one, returning player Morgan Azevedo lost 6-10 but played strong and made her opponent work to beat her against Salesian. An impressive debut at number one singles, said Gallagher after the match.

“This is Morgan’s second year at tennis and [she] played mostly doubles last season. She really competed,” the coach said. Acevedo had a rough day out against College Park on Sept. 1, losing 0-6, 0-6.

At number two singles Callie Johnson served it up and quite easily beat her opponent 10-2. Johnson is a solid tennis player with an equally solid mental toughness to stay in the match to win, Gallagher said after the match. Her effort in the match against College Park was gutsy against a tough opponent, but she was beaten 5-7 and 1-6.

At number three singles, sophomore Sophie Hughes came up from playing doubles last year and played a tough match losing against Salesian, despite losing 1-10. She had many good points, and as she gains confidence and settles into singles she will be a force, her coach said. Hughes played a very strong College Park player on Thursday afternoon, but lost 0-6, 1-6.

Caserra Alva played her match getting the ball back and forcing the errors from her opponent, playing in a very steady manner, winning 10-4. Alva lost in her match against College Park, but not without a great effort. Alva lost the first set 1-6, but won the second by a mark of 6-3. She couldn’t keep it going in the 10-point tiebreaker, which she ended up losing 6-10.

Nicole Nelson fought hard at the number five singles spot, but she lost 8-10 in a close one that could have gone either way. She lost a tough match against College Park 3-6, 3-6.

At number six singles, Rachel George was down in her match but turned it around to win a battle of a match 10-8 in one of the matches of the afternoon. “A true fight, never giving up,” Gallagher said of George’s spirit in her match. Kelly Moran stepped up to fill in for Rachel George against College Park who was out ill, and step up she did playing a very competitive match winning 7-5, 6-2.

In doubles action, the team of Sam McGinley and Brie Coria gave it their all but could not close the gap between them and their opponents, losing 3-10. The duo defaulted in their match against College Park in what Gallagher called “a learning experience for the girls.”

Second doubles team, Katie Foerste and Julia Giannini (just freshman) looked really strong losing despite 8-10 against the Salesian team. They were the lone bright spot on the day against College Park, grabbing a big win 6-2, 6-3.

Number three doubles team Phoebe Tang and Rachel Swaigen are new to the varsity position and showed why they were, by winning 10-5. The duo fell to the College Park team 4-6, 5-7.

The Bulldogs will take on former DFAL foes Acalanes on the road on Sept. 7 before opening league play against College Park on Sept. 12.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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