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Foothill League girls tennis: Vikings sail past GV

With huge match ahead, Valencia handles Grizzlies on Tuesday

Posted: October 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley’s Rachel Ho returns against Valencia on Tuesday at Golden Valley High.

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The Valencia girls tennis team defeated a depleted Golden Valley squad 14-4 on Tuesday afternoon at Golden Valley High School, one match ahead of the Vikings’ marquee matchup with West Ranch on Thursday.

But if there was any concern that Valencia (5-6, 3-1) would look past the Grizzlies (1-4), those concerns were quickly alleviated.

“Our girls always come to play, no matter who they’re playing,” said Valencia assistant coach Jen Azvedo. “We work hard and have a great time.”

And that’s just what they did against a Grizzlies team that was without usual No. 1 singles player Rebecca Ho, who has dropped just six games in Foothill League play so far this season. She missed the match due to illness.

Without Ho on the singles side, the Grizzlies managed just three wins, all from her sister and No. 2 singles player Rachel, who swept 7-6 (11-9), 6-3, 6-0.

And for a team that relies on its singles players, the loss of Rebecca was too much to overcome.

Valencia’s No. 1 singles player Brigitta Benitez lead the Vikings with two 6-0 sweeps and the close loss to Rachel Ho.

On the doubles side, Valencia won all but one set when Golden Valley’s No. 3 team of Elle Lauron and Erika Kim squeezed out a 6-4 victory over Valencia’s No. 1 doubles squad.

Going forward, the Grizzlies will continue to work on improving their doubles side as they compete for a playoff spot in the Foothill League.

“That’s almost all my focus is on in practice right now is working on doubles,” said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac. “I’ve seen some improvement. The biggest thing is confidence.”

For the Vikings, they’ll hope to carry Tuesday’s success into their match with league-leading West Ranch on Thursday at West Ranch.

The Vikings have won at least a share of nine straight Foothill League titles, including securing co-championships with West Ranch each of the last two seasons.

That streak, though, will likely not continue with a loss on Thursday. The Vikings fell to West Ranch earlier this season on games 9-9 (78-77).


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