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Singles helps Hart tennis advance to semifinals

Signles lineup wins nine sets to boost Hart past St. Margaret's

Posted: November 11, 2013 9:28 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2013 9:28 p.m.
 

Teams find success when they are able play to their strengths, so it’s no surprise that the talented Hart Indians girls tennis team has prospered this year.

Yet, even in the midst of an undefeated season Hart has managed its fair share of surprises. Unfortunately for St. Margaret’s, Hart’s opponent in Monday’s CIF-Southern Section Division II quarterfinal matchup, the surprise was that Hart isn’t done improving yet.

The Indians’ 12-6 road victory over the Tartans at St. Margaret’s High made two obvious truths even clearer — this Hart team has many strengths, and those strengths are pretty darn strong.

“Experience is one part of the equation, but it’s also their positive attitudes and how well everybody works together,” said Indians head coach Chris Mansfield of his team. “Nobody has an attitude on this team. We are very well rounded, and the experience itself has been great for me as a coach.”

Mansfield and his team isn’t enjoying a special season in 2013 — they’re setting a new precedent altogether.

No Hart team, boys or girls, has ever hit the 20-win landmark that the this year’s squad reached with Monday’s win.

Then again, it’s not often that a team has been able to stockpile talent the way the Indians have, especially in singles.

Hart sophomore Natalia Munoz swept without losing a game on Monday, and her teammates followed the lead.

Senior Jackie Resler swept 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, and junior Proyfon Lohaphaisan did her part with a 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 outing.

Munoz, Resler and Lohaphaisan are now 24-2 in set play during the postseason, and 120-6 overall when adding in their Foothill League results.

Given that it takes 10 sets to win a match, that type of productivity in singles takes a lot of pressure off of doubles.

And for the Indians, the doubles squads have done what they’ve had to and then some.

No team has done more for Hart than the pairing of seniors Lauren Dam and Bailey Sindle, who rounded out Monday’s win with a sweep of their own, capturing their sets 6-0, 7-5, 6-1.

Dam and Sindle have yet to lose a set this postseason.

“I’m so happy Bailey is my partner. We’ve learned a lot about each other and how to work together,” Dam said. “We rely on each other’s skill sets so much, between Bailey at net and my groundstrokes we cover the entire court so it’s been fun to see how much we’ve improved since sophomore year.”

Ironically, Dam’s freshman and sophomore seasons were ended by St. Margaret’s two years in a row, when the Tartans downed the Indians 11-7 both times.

Now that the Indians have exacted revenge, they’ll turn their attention to Wednesday’s semifinal matchup between the winner of San Marino and Troy.

Hart will host the contest, which begins at 12:30 p.m.

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