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League tennis semis are set

Familiar faces will battle today, Golden Valley sends sisters into the fray

Posted: November 4, 2009 8:41 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Golden Valley's Rachel Ho returns a serve during day one of tennis prelims played at the Paseo Country Club on Wednesday afternoon.

 

There were several new faces at this year’s Foothill League prelims on Wednesday, but by the end of two rounds, the singles bracket looked a lot like last year — minus the Vikings.

It looks like doubles, however, will be decided by West Ranch or Valencia.

Both brackets will resume play today at 11 a.m. at The Paseo Club.

Reigning singles Foothill League champion Anne Susdorf was one of four semifinalists left after she beat Valencia’s Kristie Kwok 6-0, 6-0 and Brigitta Benitez 6-2, 6-0.

For Susdorf, a junior, it was her third trip to the event, but she said that didn’t make it any easier.

“It’s the same crowd, the same pressure,” Susdorf said. “You just have to tune it out. ... I thought I was really on my game today though.”

In 2007, Susdorf finished second behind Valencia’s Isabella Fraczek, who was at the time the reigning two-time singles champion.

Fraczek currently plays at Cal State San Bernardino.   

Susdorf will face Golden Valley sophomore Rachel Ho in the semifinals. Ho was one of two Grizzlies’ players to make it to the round of four.

Ho got by West Ranch’s Ana Cecilia Fuentes in the first round in two tiebreaker sets, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) and Valencia’s Shenelle Trujillo 6-1, 6-3 in the second round.

Rachel’s sister, freshman Rebecca Ho, made it to the semifinals in her first trip to the event.

“Yeah there was pressure and I was really scared and nervous at first, but I think I got it under control,” Rebecca said.

Her thoughts on a potential matchup with her sister in the finals?

“That would be really cool,” Rebecca said with a laugh. “She’s got a little bit more power, but I think I’m more consistent.”

Rebecca will face West Ranch sophomore Ana Lucia Fuentes, who like Rachel Ho and Susdorf, played in last year’s prelims.

“It was a lot of fun because it was more of a tournament setting,” Fuentes said. “It’s almost the same (as last year), it’s like the same draw,” Fuentes said.

It’s only fitting that Valencia and West Ranch will sort out the top doubles pairs in the Foothill League.

The two teams ended their league seasons tied at 9-1 to share the Foothill League team championship, and both did it with dominant doubles play.

Ironically, Valencia didn’t have its best doubles team in all season, but it didn’t make a difference for them.

Emily and Clarice Fraczek, who entered the tournament as the top seed because they were defending Foothill League doubles champions, didn’t drop a set in two matches.

Admittedly not as vocal as other doubles’ pairs, the two have a unique advantage thanks to the amount of time they spend together.

“It helps a lot if you know where your partner’s going to be,” Emily said.  

“It’s like telepathy,” Clarice said. “We don’t talk as much as other doubles teams, but I just know where she’s going to be on the court.”

The pair will face West Ranch’s Lena Poonnapatam and Salene Scamardo in their semifinal matchup.

In the other bracket, it’s also Valencia versus West Ranch.

Valencia’s No. 1 doubles team during the regular season, Andrea Zammit and Chelsie Dietz, advanced to the semis and will play Mallory Martin and True O’Neill, who also played No. 1 doubles for West Ranch.

The top two teams in both singles and doubles will advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division Individual Sectionals on Nov. 20 at four different locations, but the likely two for SCV teams being either Cate High School in Carpinteria or Whittier Narrows.

 

 

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