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Valencia off to a strong start to season with reworked lineup

Posted: September 11, 2013 9:05 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2013 9:05 p.m.

Valencia's Katelyn Choi prepares to hi the ball against Calabasas High on Wednesday at Valencia High School.

 

 

The Valencia Vikings were forced to shuffle some things around after last year’s graduations left question marks on both the singles and doubles sides of the team.

So far in 2013, the new formula seems to be working out just fine.

Valencia defeated the Calabasas Coyotes 14-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Valencia High School to improve to 3-0 to start the season.

The Vikings were strong in both singles and doubles, but it was the doubles side that posted an 8-1 record to nearly clinch the victory alone.

That’s a good sign for a team that lost one half of The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Doubles Team of the Year in Ashley Keith, along with doubles stars Jenny Ralson and Alekhya Bommireddipalli to graduation.

It was that doubles squad that led the Vikings to a share of the Foothill League title in 2012, and with the singles strength across the Santa Clarita Valley, the Vikings could rely heavily on the doubles side again in 2013.

To counteract that, the Vikings have moved Tina Inchalik, who partnered with Keith last season, to singles, along with Katelyn Choi and Remy Balmain.

Inchalik takes over for departed No. 1 Brigitta Benitez.

But on Wednesday, the second day of back-to-back matches for Valencia, the Vikings changed things up again, with Choi taking the No. 1 singles spot on the day.

Choi, No. 2 Sabrina Wueste and No. 3 Staci Lowe all went 2-1 on the day, dropping sets to Calabasas’ No. 1 singles player Jessica Abgaryan.

As was the theme on the day, the Coyotoes too had to shuffle their lineup, with usual No. 1 singles player Jensen Warren still not eligible for competition because she hasn’t completed her physical, according to Valencia assistant coach Jen Azevedo.

Inchalik and Balmain moved to doubles for the day, teaming up to go 2-1 with 6-0 and 6-2 victories.

Sisters Lindsey Wolf and Lauren Wolf, who will normally play No. 1 doubles for the Vikings, swept three sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-0, while the No. 3 doubles team of Amanda Braun and Kate Zeile did the same, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0.

 

 

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