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Company at the top: West Ranch girls win their first-ever Foothill title

Posted: October 29, 2009 10:11 p.m.
Updated: October 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch tennis player Ana Lucia Fuentes serves during her third set against Canyon Thursday at West Ranch High.

 
At West Ranch's final match of the regular season, there were balloons, dessert tables and other assorted decorations.

There was plenty to celebrate for the Wildcats, who clinched a share of their first Foothill League championship with a 14-4 victory over Canyon Thursday at West Ranch High School.

The Wildcats' top two singles players, sisters Ana Cecilia and Ana Lucia Fuentes, swept their three sets, and the No. 1 doubles team of True O'Neill and Mallory Martin lost just one game all afternoon.

West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker credited Brown and fellow seniors Penny Azizi, Hima Boinpally and Isabelle Green for laying the foundation of the program.

"I've been impressed with what our girls did all year," Spiecker said. "Those girls really helped found this program. It's fantastic they could experience (the league title)."

For Canyon (3-10, 1-8), top singles players Nicole Smith and Jenny Ward each won a set, while the doubles teams of Paulette Alonsagay and Jennifer Lee and Gintare Kerezyte and Madison Poitras won a set apiece.

"I think (the players) have learned a lot," said Canyon head coach Debbie Glasnow. "It's hard to come out knowing you're not in first, second or third in league. We had to make sure they know about the little improvements."

West Ranch (9-4, 9-1) made a big improvement this season thanks in large part to last Thursday's match against Valencia, which ended the Vikings' 56-match winning streak in league.

"I'm glad Valencia set the standard so high," Spiecker said. "It gave me something to shoot for."

Earning that big victory could prove to be an immeasurable building block.

"We've come a long way," said Azizi, who is a co-captain with O'Neill. "It's been tough watching the girls come so close the past couple years. All the drills (Spiecker) put the team through paid off."

And on Thursday afternoon, the Wildcats weren't about to let the opportunity slip away against a talented but young Canyon team that was battling injury and illness.

"We just came out with a good attitude," Azizi said. "All the girls had that on their mind."

West Ranch is currently seeded fourth in the CIF-Southern Section Division III rankings, but the teams will be re-seeded next week and the brackets will be announced a week from Monday.

The Wildcats are hoping for a better postseason result this year. They were bounced in the opening round by eventual CIF champion Valencia of Placentia in the first round last year.


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