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Valencia doubles its fun

Fraczek sisters team up to claim Foothill League top tandem spot

Posted: November 6, 2008 9:50 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Twin sisters Clarice and Emily Fraczek, above, took home the Foothiull League doubles title with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over another set of siblings, Gavelynn and Lena Poonnopatam of West Ranch.

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The Foothill League Girls Tennis Finals was all about the unexpected on Thursday afternoon.

The final day of the tournament saw a new league champion emerge in the singles draw and a quartet of sisters competed in the finals of the doubles draw.

For only the second time this season, Valencia's Clarice and Emily Fraczek teamed up in doubles and finished as the No. 1 duo in the league. The twin tandem defeated sisters Gavelynn and Lena Poonnopatam of West Ranch 6-0, 6-2 in the doubles final.

The only other time this season the Fraczek sisters paired up was during the Annual Fall Brawl in October.
A calculated decision by the sisters, who said they give the team a better chance of winning when they split up.

"It allows our team to have two strong teams as opposed to just one strong team," Clarice said. "It's easier to get more points when we split."

The twins plan paid off. Both girls were significant factors in the Vikings success this season.

But now the duo shifts focus to their debut in the CIF playoffs and carrying that momentum into the tournament.

"We're anxious to see the other competition," Emily said. "We're excited, confident and proud of our play."

Rounding out the doubles draw was Saugus' Emily Wilson and Christina Callas who finished in third and West Ranch's True O'Neill and Mallory Martin finished fourth.

Older sister Isabella Fraczek, who was the league's defending champion lost out on her opportunity to clinch the crown.

Seeded No. 2 entering Thursday's finals. Fraczek lost in an early match to West Ranch's Ana Lucia Fuentes, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, and finished in the league's third spot while teammate Thalia Wilczynski finished in fourth.

Fraczek said the affects of a shoulder injury that sidelined her late in this season, hindered her performance.

"It was tough match, exhausting." she said. "Ana Lucia is a great player but I'm sad the way it fell. I tried my best."

But Fraczek's season isn't over yet.

She will use the next few day to recover and looks forward to being back in full form to lead Valencia to a CIF-Southern Section Division III title in the team playoffs on Nov. 13.

"Now I can take this time to work on my serve and find other ways to hit." she said.

Fraczek's crown is now in the hands of Hart sophomore Anne Susdorf.

Susdorf, who finished her run in league undefeated, beat out Valencia's Thalia Wilczynski 6-1, 6-3 before defeating Fuentes 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

"She did fantastic all season," said Hart head coach Chris Mansfield. "She's stronger both physically and emotionally."

Susdorf displayed her competitive spirit during the see-saw battle between Fuentes in the finals.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first set she won five straight games to take a commanding 5-2 lead. However, too many unforced errors kept Fuentes in the game closing the gap at 5-4.

But Susdorf bounced back and behind efficient serving and powerful forehand winners she was able to hold on to the lead.

The second set saw a visibly emotional Susdorf battle to stay in the game. At one point the sophomore saw herself down 4-3. Determined to preserve her dominance she rallied back to win the set and eventually the match.

Susdorf now looks to go further this year in the playoffs. Last season she was knocked out in the first round but this year Mansfield said as long as the burgeoning player can keep her emotions steady, she has all the tools to go further into playoffs.

"I just remind her how badly she plays when she lets her emotions get the best of her and how important it is for her to stay focused," Mansfield said.

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