By GERARDO RECINOS
After frantically drying the courts, the Bulldog girls tennis team hosted the Diablo Athletic League championships, and it was the perfect day for tennis.
All weekend the rain threatened to foil the first day of the two-day tournament, but Monday morning’s gray skies and light wind produced nothing but perfect weather.
On the first day of action, a pair of doubles teams, and two singles competitors advanced with two solid rounds each. Alhambra was the only participating school to send four competitors into the semi-finals.
Both Sophie Hughes and Caserra Alva advanced to day two. Hughes cruised on day one beating out her opponent from Berean Christian by a score of 6-1, 6-3. She followed up that win with another against her opponent from Concord High. Once again Hughes came out the winner, this time by a score of 7-5, 6-1.
Alva also won her first two matches of day one. She beat her opening opponent from Clayton Valley Charter in a back and forth match by a score of 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. She had an easier time in her second match against her opponent from Ygnacio Valley, beating them by a score of 6-0, 6-2.
The freshman doubles duo of Katie Foerste and Julia Giannini, who were only beaten twice all season, beat both of their day one opponents with varying degrees of difficulty. They beat their first opponents from Berean 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. In their second match they won easily 6-2, 6-3.
The second doubles team that advanced was Callie Johnson and Morgan Azevedo. The two seniors beat their day one opponents from Concord despite falling in the opening set 4-6. The two experienced players came back to win the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.
In their second match of day one, the two rallied and beat Clayton Valley’s team by a score of 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in a match where coach Sarah Gallagher said they played some of their best tennis.
Two doubles duos played well on day one, but did not advance to see day two. Sam McGinley and Bri Coria fought a tough battle but lost to Clayton Valley’s team by a score of 6-7, 4-6.
Phoebe Tang and Rachel Swaigen were able to get into the tournament after a team from Mt. Diablo dropped out. “I was so happy to get them in they have played tough this season,” Gallagher said of the duo. They fought hard but lost in a close one to Clayton Valley’s team by a score of 6-4, 2-6, 2-6.
On the second day of action, the freshmen duo of Foerste and Giannini came up against the only team that beat them in regular season, a pair of seniors from Ygnacio Valley. The two teams split their season series, both of which went to a 10-point tie-breaker set. The more experienced Ygnacio players have a history as a doubles team, according to Gallagher. They looked very confident. But the freshman duo played tough despite losing the first set 5-7 and then came back in the second to win in a set tie-breaker 7-6. They couldn’t rally all the way back however, and lost 3-6 in a phenomenal match.
“So well done, and very impressive,” Gallagher said after the match.
Doubles pair Azevedo and Johnson came up against a tough pair of players from Clayton Valley, and although they battled tough, they lost 6-1 6-0. Their opponents were the eventual champions of the tournament.
In her first match of day two, Hughes faced the number one seed and played some really great tennis. Her effort was much better then the score reflected, according to Gallagher.
In her second day match Alva lost too a player that her coach reckoned very similar in style. The two players played well, but ultimately despite taking the opening set 6-2, Alva would go on to lose 4-6, 3-6.
The Bulldog girls will be able to hang their hats on some impressive accomplishments, especially given recent memory of their old league.