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All-SCV Girls Tennis: Shenelle Trujillo & Michelle Savage, Even better, given time

Valencia team of Trujillo, Savage worked well despite pairing up midseason

Posted: January 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia seniors Shenelle Trujillo and Michelle Savage are the 2011 All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Tennis Doubles Team of the Year.

 

The 2011 All-SCV doubles team of the year wasn’t even a team at the beginning of the season.

Shenelle Trujillo was set to play singles for the 2011 Vikings — who were looking to extend their streak of consecutive Foothill League titles to ten.

Fortunately for the Vikings, that plan was scrapped, and the pair — who have been best friends since elementary school — got a chance to shine as a team.

With Foothill League play approaching and Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg well aware of how important a good doubles side would be in league play and beyond, she moved Trujillo to play with Savage in doubles play.

And while the Vikings eventually fell short winning a league title, finishing second in the league behind West Ranch, Trujillo and Savage consistently proved their coach had made the right decision.

The pair dominated the Foothill League, dropping only one match to All-SCV First Teamers Gabrielle Morici and Lena Poonnopatam of West Ranch before finishing the year with a 28-1 league record.

That one loss came in the Vikings’ first league match — and unlike their opponents, the pair was still getting used to the idea of simply playing together, let alone winning together.

But after that match, it’s safe to say Trujillo and Savage figured out how to win.

The pair swept through the rest of Foothill League with ease and defeated Morici and Poonnopatam each of the next two times they met — defeating the duo 6-4 in the second league match between the schools and 6-4, 6-0 in the finals of the Foothill League individual tournament.

The two seniors continued to be the most consistent performers in the league as CIF-Southern Section playoffs began. The Vikings advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division III tournament and Savage and Trujillo won all nine of their sets over three matches.

In a league that was stacked with talent in, no doubles team was better than Trujillo and Savage, earning them the title of 2011 All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Tennis Doubles Team of the Year.

And to think, they almost never got a chance to shine.

Doubles Team

Lindsey Bridges & Jenny Miller • Valencia • Senior & Junior

Lindsey Bridges and Jenny Miller played a vital role in Valencia’s doubles success this season as the duo paired up for the majority of the season and provided Valencia with a strong No. 2 doubles team. Miller finished the season 23-6 with Bridges going 21-5 in league play and the pair won all nine of its sets in the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs as Valencia advanced to the quarterfinals.

Gabrielle Morici and Lena Poonnopatam • West Ranch • Seniors
The seniors had spent three seasons wanting one thing — to get past the rival Valencia Vikings and win the Foothill League title outright. They may have had to wait until their senior years, but the duo can finally consider their mission accomplished. And its a mission that the Wildcats wouldn’t have accomplished without the steadfast play of Morici and Poonnopatam. A classic team of contrasting players, the two played off each other’s strengths all season and led West Ranch with a 23-1 record in league play — losing only to Doubles Team of the Year Michelle Savage and Shenelle Trujillo of Valencia. The pair followed up the successful league season by finishing in second place in the league individual tournament and helped the Wildcats make their second straight CIF-Southern Section Division III semifinal.

Jordan Jaffe & MacKenzie Lyle • West Ranch • Senior & Sophomore
The interesting thing about team tennis is it doesn’t matter how good the players in the No. 1 spot are if the team doesn’t have depth behind them. For this season’s edition of the West Ranch Wildcats, depth was never a problem. Playing behind Morici and Poonnopatam, the No. 2 doubles team of Jordan Jaffe and MacKenzie Lyle earned their stripes for the Wildcats, going 23-3 in league play and they were an integral part of securing West Ranch’s first outright Foothill League title.

Honorable Mentions
Paulette Alonsogay • Canyon • Senior
Rachel Ho • Golden Valley • Senior
Shannon Cholakian & Victoria Lionetti • Hart • Seniors
Megan Soucy • Saugus • Senior
Brigitta Benitez • Valencia • Junior
Julia Lynch • West Ranch • Freshman

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