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CIF girls tennis: Hart’s run reaches end

Indians lose in quarters to St. Margaret’s

Posted: November 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Hart No. 1 singles player Jackie Resler hits the ball during her match against St. Margaret’s during the Indians quarterfinal loss on Tuesday at Hart.

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The Hart girls tennis team saw its unexpected run to the CIF-Southern Section Division III quarterfinals end at home Tuesday in an 11-7 loss to defending Division III champions St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano.

The Indians (13-7) finished third in the Foothill League and entered the playoffs as a wild card, but they defeated Oxnard before pulling off consecutive upsets of Redlands and Martin Luther King High to get to their first quarterfinal in program history, according to head coach Chris Mansfield.

Despite the loss, Mansfield described the season in a word.

“Amazing,” he said. “The kids came together in the end and supported each other.”

Hart’s No. 1 singles player Jackie Resler did her best to support the Indians’ cause, winning two sets 6-0 and 6-2 over St. Margaret’s No. 2 singles player Zoe Odekerk and No. 3 singles player Caroline Smith.

No. 2 singles player Proyfon Lohaphaisan added one set with a 6-0 victory, while No. 3 singles player Leina Verrier won one set 6-3 and substitute Kendall Jackson added a 6-2 win.

The Tartans (17-0), though, pulled away in doubles, led by their No. 1 team of Maddy Gotlieb and Tessa Hurr. The duo swept three sets 6-4, 6-1 and 6-0. The No. 2 team of Katie Fragapane and Dena Fatehi matched the feat, sweeping 6-1, 7-5 and 6-4.

Hart’s No. 1 doubles team of seniors Victoria Lionetti and Shannon Cholakian won one set 6-4, and the No. 2 team of Lauren Dam and Bailey Sindle won one set 6-0.

“I knew (Hart) was really rolling from watching them. I knew they were good throughout,” said St. Margaret’s head coach Rick Trager. “I knew they had two solid doubles teams and two solid singles players.”

In the end, though, Hart’s run ended at the hands of the defending champions.

“I don’t think it was a lag effect (from playing back-to-back days),” Mansfield said. “They were a better team.”

After losing Foothill League individual champion Anne Susdorf to graduation this summer, the Hart girls tennis program came into the season as a bit of an unknown.

Its top singles player, Resler, is a sophomore. And its No. 2 player, Lohaphaisan, is a freshman.

But this season transformed into a magical run for the Indians.

“Tennis is an individual sport, or you play with another person in doubles,” Cholakian said. “To have everyone come together and say, ‘I’m going to play my best so we can do our best’ is amazing.”

And now, a team that was unpredictable coming into the season is in prime position to make noise in the Foothill League next season.

“I would say talent-wise, we’re looking as good as ever,” Cholakian said. “Spirit-wise, we’re as good as we’ve ever been ... I predict great things for this group of kids.”

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