View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Valencia pairing advances in CIF tennis tourney

Posted: November 25, 2013 10:54 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2013 10:54 p.m.
Valencia’s Tina Inchalik, left, and Remy Balmain pose on Monday at the CIF-Southern Section girls tennis individual tournament. Valencia’s Tina Inchalik, left, and Remy Balmain pose on Monday at the CIF-Southern Section girls tennis individual tournament.
Valencia’s Tina Inchalik, left, and Remy Balmain pose on Monday at the CIF-Southern Section girls tennis individual tournament.

It’s safe to say Valencia’s duo of Tina Inchalik and Remy Balmain traveled the path of most resistance on the opening day of the CIF-Southern Section girls tennis individual playoffs on Monday.

But in the end, that didn’t matter much.

Despite losing the first set in each of their three doubles matches on Monday, the battle-tested Vikings pulled out each of those contests in third set tiebreakers to move through to the round of 32, which begins Dec. 3 in Whittier.

Now, after all of the glory that has befallen the Hart Indians this girls tennis season, the only Foothill League entity left in individual postseason competition is a squad from Valencia.

“We’re calling them the cardiac kids after today,” said Vikings head coach Annie Kellogg. “Nerves of steel, those kids. Amazing.”

Inchalik and Balmain began Monday’s action in a hole against Santa Barbara’s Lexy Guilden and Karina Thornton.

Trailing 1-4 in the first set, the Vikings pairing rallied to force a first set tiebreaker — ultimately losing 7-4.

But seemingly like clockwork, after Inchalik and Balmain dropped the opening set they responded with a dominant second set and a close win in the third set tiebreaker.

The duo went on to down Guilden and Thornton 6-7, 6-1, 10-8 before dispatching Burbank’s Meredy Gharabegi and Elizabeth Sanchez 4-6, 6-1, 11-9. From there, Inchalik and Balmain took care of the No. 4 seeded team of Jacey Katch and Sophia Aulcino 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 to advance to the tournament’s second day of action.

All of this despite the fact that Inchalik and Balmain rarely played together this season.

Inchalik served as the Vikings’ No. 1 singles player for the duration of the year, joining forces with Balmain only at tournament events.

However, in those events the duo has proven to be literally unbeatable — the two captured the doubles title at Valencia’s annual “Fall Brawl” before winning the Foothill League tournament in October to qualify for postseason play.

“Really what it comes down to is that they’re best friends and they’ve been close for a long time,” Kellogg added. “They have great communication and that’s why they haven’t lost this season.”

Hart’s Lauren Dam and Bailey Sindle were eliminated on Monday, but not before making noise of their own.

The Foothill League’s most dominant doubles team throughout the regular season began their last day in Hart uniforms by cruising to a first round win over Laguna Blanca’s Lucy and Margaret Hartman.

Dam and Sindle ran into considerably more resistance in the second round, when they needed three sets to down Lindsay Wilson and Carina Merhi of Buckley before falling in the third round in straight sets to Brentwood’s Michie Aubuchon and Giuliana McDonnell del Rio.

Hart head coach Chris Mansfield had an easy time summing up what Dam and Sindle meant to the Hart tennis program, saying, “They’re the best doubles team we’ve ever had.”

In singles, Hart’s Proyfon Lohaphaisan saw her dominant 2013 campaign come to an end.

Lohaphaisan dropped just three games total in reaching the third round of action, but ultimately lost 6-0, 6-0 to Oak Park freshman phenom Annette Goulak once she got there.

Unlike the Hart and Valencia players in the tournament, Canyon’s Katrina DeGuzman didn’t have the benefit of playing postseason matches leading into Monday’s action.

DeGuzman joined her SCV counterparts by advancing past the first round, but lost to Arroyo Grande’s Sophie Whittle 6-2, 6-0 in the second round.

Still, the Foothill League represented itself well on Monday by posting an 8-3 record in a tournament that featured some of Southern California’s best tennis players.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...