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Vikings’ streak at 53

Valencia tennis remains atop the Foothill League

Posted: October 6, 2009 10:43 p.m.
Updated: October 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Andrea Zammit, left, returns a shot as teammate Chelsie Dietz looks on Tuesday at Valencia High. The Vikings won 12-6.

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The Valencia girls tennis team will stay atop the Foothill League standings for one more week with a 12-6 win over West Ranch at Valencia High.

But parity at the top is becoming apparent.

Valencia (8-2, 3-0) carried a 52-match undefeated streak in Foothill League play into the contest, and West Ranch (3-3, 2-1) still looks to have the best shot of any team in the Foothill League of ending that.

After a three-and-a-half-hour battle with the courts almost too dark to see, Emily Fraczek won her third set of the day and the game’s final match by beating Ana Cecilia Fuentes 6-4, running Valencia’s league win streak to 53.

“That’s definitely the latest match I’ve ever played at home,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. “We’ve had a few go dark on us before, but never at home.”

Long volleys, three tiebreakers and a strong singles performance by West Ranch almost gave Valencia more than it could handle for the first time in several years.

“This is team tennis, it’s nine people and every match counts,” Kellogg said. “It’s about depth and being nine players deep.”

West Ranch kept it close throughout and had several opportunities to take a lead, but several close doubles losses — four by two games or less — left the Wildcats with too much to overcome.

“We lost the close ones, and that’s what it came down to,” said West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker. “They won the big points, and any team that does that is going to win a close match.”

Emily Fraczek was Valencia’s only singles player to take all three sets, winning 6-1, 6-4 and 7-6, with her last game ending in a 7-5 tiebreaker victory over Ana Lucia Fuentes.

Fraczek said she was excited and nervous about the matchup, having heard a lot of good things about Ana Lucia Fuentes beforehand.

“She’s really tough. I was excited and nervous because I had heard so many good things about her,” Fraczek said. “So I just wanted to give it my all when we played.”

Ana Lucia Fuentes, who missed West Ranch’s first league match but was a Foothill League finalist in singles play last year, made an immediate impact for West Ranch.

“Ana Lucia brings one of the best singles players in the Santa Clarita Valley into our lineup,” Spiecker said. “And she’s an example for what every athlete should be out here.”

Despite the team’s past success, Valencia doubles player Arianna Michaels said she was a bit relieved after the win, because she said her team knew how close it would be.

Michaels and Ashley Karzin picked up the team’s 10th point with a 6-4 win over Salene Scamardo and Lena Poonnapatam.

“We were trying to be consistent,” Michaels said. “We were kind of nervous and excited to be playing them. It’s a big relief that it’s over.”

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