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Prep tennis: Three-deep singles punch pushes GV

Singles sweep all nine sets in dominant fashion

Posted: September 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley No. 1 singles player Rebecca Ho returns a shot against Royal of Simi Valley on Wednesday at Golden Valley High. The junior won all three of her sets 6-0.

Golden Valley girls tennis knows improvement is a process.

But it’s a process the Grizzlies think they may be able to make great strides  this season.

Wednesday afternoon at Golden Valley High, that process officially began as the Grizzlies (1-2) defeated Royal High of Simi Valley 10-8 behind a stellar performance by their singles players.

Golden Valley’s No. 1 singles player, junior Rebecca Ho, among the best players in the Foothill League, easily swept her three sets, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.

Her sister and No. 2 singles player, Rachel Ho dropped only two games on the day, winning her three sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.

While Golden Valley has come to expect great things out of the two sisters, the Grizzlies’ victory was heavily aided by the play of No. 3 singles player Eliah Cortez, whose 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 sweep helped Golden Valley take all nine singles sets.

“It’s huge. Depth is key in this league. We’re what would be classified as a top-heavy team,” said head coach Josh Stimac of the importance of having players other than Rebecca and Rachel Ho come through for the Grizzlies.

And he was proven right on Wednesday afternoon, as the team needed every last one of Cortez’s victories, as the doubles side had a tougher time against the Highlander doubles squads.

The Grizzlies did just enough, though, as doubles No. 2 Elle Lauren and Beau Lauren earned a 6-3 victory over Royal’s No. 2 tandem of Priscilla Grasso and Marisa Fradin to secure the victory.

The match of the day came in the last set, as Golden Valley’s pair of Claire Lee and Erika Kim took the Royal No. 2 team to a tiebreak before losing 7-6 (7-3).

Royal head coach Roger Hixon pointed to a combination of talent on the Grizzlies’ singles side and a lack of experience on his team as reasons for why the Highlanders had trouble.

“My players, they all are at about the same level. I’m sure (Golden Valley players) have started at a younger age,” Hixon said. “My team started in high school. I think it goes from experience.”

Overall, Golden Valley was pleased with the performance Wednesday, but the Grizzlies know if they are going to compete in the Foothill League, they must continue to improve.

“The team is really good,” Rebecca Ho said. “This year we’ll do really well in league. As a team, I think we can go for No. 3, or even No. 2 (in league). I think we’re capable of achieving that goal.”


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