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Valencia fades to black

Darkness causes a change in location and Vikings girls tennis fails to make its fifth consecutive CI

Posted: November 17, 2009 10:40 p.m.
Updated: November 18, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Valencia tennis player Kirstie Kwock, right, reacts to a missed ball during a set Tuesday at Valencia High during the CIF-Southern Section Division III Quarterfinals.

Valencia girls tennis was denied a fifth straight trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division III finals with a 9-9 (81-76 on games) loss to San Luis Obispo High (19-1) in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

A match that started at Valencia ended across the street at The Paseo Club, due to darkness, more than three and a half hours after it all began.

The length of the battle was telling. But in the end, it was in doubles that San Luis Obispo took the edge, an area the Vikings have considered a strength for the team all year.

“Our singles played brilliantly,” said Vikings head coach Annie Kellogg. “Their doubles were just a little bit steadier than us. I really thought we’d be OK (in doubles). ... They were a quality team.”

Valencia’s Chelsie Dietz and Andrea Zammit took two of three sets for doubles, but dropped their first set 3-6 to the Tigers’ No. 1 doubles team of Alex Coffman and Lela Haze. Haze and Coffman were doubles champs for the Pac-7 League.

“It’s kind of hard to just forget about a loss, but that’s what you have to do,” Dietz said. “You just have to put it behind you and keep playing.”

“This was one of the better teams we’ve played all season, and we knew we would have to get our sets in,” Zammit added.

Emily and Clarice Fraczek paced the Vikings’ singles lineup from the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, in a move intended to help Valencia (16-4) get a strategic edge and keep the girls’ legs fresher.

Shenelle Trujillo moved to the No. 1 spot and struggled against Abigail Will in her first match 1-6 before taking a crucial 7-6 (7-1) tiebreaker match.

Emily picked up two of three sets, dropping a tough tiebreaker set before beating Will, the Pac-7 singles champion, 6-4.  

Clarice won her first two 6-1, 6-4 over the Tigers’ No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

The lineup change proved prudent, as Valencia led 8-7 on sets after about 150 minutes.

However, after doubles play ended, San Luis Obispo had a one-game lead by controlling five of nine doubles sets.

As the sky darkened, both teams headed to The Paseo Club to finish under the lights.

With both teams’ seasons on the line, Emily picked up a 6-0 win over San Luis Obispo’s No. 3 singles. But Clarice dropped her matchup 1-6 and Trujillo fell by the same score, and it was all over for Valencia.

This marks the first time a Vikings team hasn’t made a division semifinal since 2002.

At least four of the Vikings will still have a chance to impact this year’s CIF-Southern Section postseason.

As Foothill League doubles champions, the Fraczek sisters earned a spot in the doubles bracket. As runners-up to the Fraczeks, Dietz and Zammit will also participate when the postseason for individual play begins Friday.  



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