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Vikings tennis sails past Golden Valley

Posted: September 26, 2013 9:30 p.m.
Updated: September 26, 2013 9:30 p.m.

Katelyn Choi of Valencia, returns with a backhand against Beau Lauron of Golden Valley High School, winning her set 6-0 on Thursday.

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It was over almost as quickly as it began for the Valencia girls tennis team on Thursday afternoon at Golden Valley High School.

The Vikings cruised in an 18-0 sweep of the Golden Valley Grizzlies behind exceptional play from nearly everyone on the team.

The Vikings played 17 players in the match, with No. 1 singles player Tina Inchalik winning 6-0, 6-1, No. 2 singles player Katelyn Choi winning 6-0, 6-0 and No. 3 singles player Remy Balmain winning 6-0. 6-0.

Valencia (7-1 overall, 2-0 Foothill League), which won a share of the Foothill League title last season with Hart, knew going in that, on paper, Thursday’s match should wind up in the win column.

But Inchalik was quick to point out that anything can happen in any match.

“We go in with the same mindset,” she said. “Every match we play our hardest. We know a lot of the (Golden Valley) girls from the previous year, but we don’t expect anything.”

Beau Lauron turned in the best performance for Golden Valley (0-2 Foothill League), falling 6-4 to Valencia’s Mikayla Vovk in singles play.

“(Lauron’s) a great kid. She’s been on my varsity team now for the last three years and she’s always played doubles and she got really comfortable coming forward to the net,” said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac. “On the singles court, it changes everything for her. It’s a little more lonely, but I still want her moving forward. She gets a little nervous out there, but once she gets over her nerves, she’s got good strokes.”

In doubles play, newcomer Kate Zeile was the only Valencia player to play three sets in either doubles or singles.

She teamed with Amanda Braun to win 6-1, and teamed with Gianna Benitez for 6-0 and 6-2 wins.

“It was really good. We all played really good and our subs got to play the third round for us. They got to go in and they did really good, too,” Inchalik said.

For a Grizzlies program rebuilding after the loss of two-time All-CIF Player of the Year Rebecca Ho to graduation, wins and losses aren’t the most important thing at this point in the season.

“Absolutely, and that’s how I have to go into this season. That’s what I have to convince my girls of,” Stimac said. “We’re going in looking for improvement. We’re looking to get better and better and better with each match, whether it comes out with a win or a loss.”



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