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No. 1 Vikings get better

Doubles teams bounce back from previous loss

Posted: October 7, 2008 8:53 p.m.
Updated: December 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Valencia High's number one singles player, Isabella Fraczek, reaches for the ball during her match at Saugus versus Emily Wilson. Fraczek won 6-0.

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If the No. 1-ranked Valencia girls tennis team has an Achilles heel, it could end up being its all-sophomore doubles pairs.

Although very solid, powerful and fundamentally sound, at times the three doubles teams can be beat by even better tandems. The Vikings are No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division III tennis coaches' poll, which was released Monday.

One such example was a 10-8 loss Monday to Crescenta Valley, in which the Vikings doubles teams fell, 6-3. It was the second setback this season for Valencia (3-0 in the Foothill League).

But on Tuesday in a Foothill League match at Saugus, Valencia's doubles teams were dominant in winning eight out of nine matches, in a 17-1 victory.

The only defeat came at the hands of Centurions No. 3 team Christina Callas and Megan Soucy, who beat Andrea Zammit and Chelsie Dietz, 6-1.

"Our doubles bounced back from (Monday)," Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg said. "They need to build some confidence. They didn't come out inspired against a team that wanted to avenge a loss last year. We wanted to get more first serves in, and we did."

Clarice Fraczek won all three of her doubles matches, one with her usual partner Eunice Pack, 6-4, in a nip-and-tuck win over Saugus' Rachel Marucut and Bea Araujo.

Fraczek took the other two matches with Maxine David, 6-0, 6-1.

"We're moving our feet more and closing the net," Fraczek said. "We don't leave any part of the court open."

Saugus' doubles teams played strong as well. Senior Mariah Aguinaldo and freshman Pilar Araujo trailed just 4-3 to Ashley Karzin and Emily Fraczek.

The Centurion pair lost 6-3, but both girls made nice charges at the net and showed plenty of ability of lengthy volleys against a quality team.

"It was so much fun," Aguinaldo said. "It's awesome playing against the hardest team in the league and not sucking."

Valencia's singles players dominated as expected. The Vikings' No. 1 player, Isabella Fraczek, swept, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0. Thalia Wilczinski, who has battled the flu since the beginning of the season, still won all three of her matches by 6-0 scores.

Amanda Janson, a sophomore who is normally Emily Fraczek's No. 2 doubles partner, showcased her skills in singles, winning 6-4 over Saugus No. 1 player Emily Wilson, 6-4, 6-3.

The Centurions (1-3 in league) are trying to fight off Hart for the No. 3 spot in Foothill League play and the final spot to qualify for the CIF-SS Girls Tennis Tournament.

The Indians won the first match, 11-7, but Saugus had plenty of tight losses.

"I thought we played well in spurts," Saugus head coach Allan Hardbarger said. "I think we're playing better than we have the past few weeks. There's a lot of tennis left to play."

At 8 a.m. at Valencia High, all six Foothill League teams and three others will play in the Valencia Fall Brawl. St. Bonaventure, ranked No. 5 in the Div. III coaches' poll, is also scheduled to be there.

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