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Vikes’ tennis step one

Valencia seeks a return to the division championship

Posted: November 12, 2009 10:38 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Valencia's Emily Fraczek returns the ball on Thursday at Valencia High during the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs.

Valencia girls tennis made short work of Claremont at home 13-5 Thursday.

The Vikings (16-4) won by taking all nine doubles points, a showing that has Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg excited about the team’s postseason prospects.

“We swept doubles, and that’s good for us. We had to get doubles back on track,” Kellogg said.

With the win, the Vikings took the necessary first step toward what they hope will be a fifth straight trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division I finals with a first-round win over a wildcard Wolfpack team.

“We’ll take it one step at a time, but we took care of business today,” Kellogg added.

Andrea Zammit and Chelsie Dietz took all three games 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to help lead their team.

Dietz said they were trying to treat the playoffs as though it were just a few more regular-season matches.

“The CIFs are just an extension of our season, Dietz said, “We were just trying to play our tennis.”

Zammit said blocking out the win-or-go-home pressure of the postseason was key for her play.

“It’s about who makes the errors and who doesn’t in tennis,” Zammit added. “We were just trying to keep the ball in play.”

Valencia received a stiff test from freshman Toby Miclat, Claremont’s No. 1 singles player who is also ranked 79th in USTA rankings in the 18-and-over grouping.

Miclat swept all three matches, taking No. 1 Emily Fraczek 6-1 and edging her sister Clarice, who played the No. 2 spot 6-7 (8-6) in a tiebreaker.

Clarice said for her, the pressure was a little different this year in the playoffs because she was playing singles.

Clarice and Emily are the reigning Foothill League doubles champions, and played doubles last year for the team.

“I was up 3-0 and then (Miclat) came back and made it 3-2, then when she got up 5-3, I think I started to feel the pressure,” Clarice said of her tiebreaker set. “In singles, it’s all up to you and you have to work really hard.”

Nevertheless, the team is excited to be in the playoff race once again.

“This could be the year,” Clarice said. “We’re all really hoping for this one.”

The location of the Vikings’ second-round matchup with Paramount, the No. 1 seed from the San Gabriel Valley League, will be decided by a coin flip today by the CIF, since Valencia is the Foothill League’s No. 1 seed.

The match will be played Saturday at 2 p.m.



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