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The Valencia Vikings suffer their fourth straight loss in the CIF-SS Finals

Posted: November 24, 2008 9:38 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Viking Isabella Fraczek walks off the court in frustration after losing her first match of the day against the Valencia of Placentia Tigers in Claremont. The Vikings lost in the finals by the score of 13-5.

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CLAREMONT - For a moment Monday in the finals of the CIF-Southern Section Division III Girls Team Tennis Playoffs, the Valencia girls tennis team was in control.

In the first round, Viking senior Isabella Fraczek won a tough 6-4 match against Sarah Blair of Valencia of Placentia in the No. 1 singles match at The Claremont Club.

Both of Fraczek's younger sisters, sophomores Emily and Clarice, had commanding leads in their doubles matches.
But in the next moment, both those leads, along with Valencia's hopes for its first CIF girls tennis title vanished in a 13-5 loss.

"We ran into a better team today," said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. "We knew they were very deep. It would be tough to beat their singles."

It was the fourth consecutive time that the Valencia Vikings (22-3) reached the Division III finals and lost. Last season they were defeated by Chadwick, 11-7. In 2006, they lost to Chadwick 12-6. In 2005, the Vikings fell to Brentwood 10-8.

The four straight Division III finals appearances tied Valencia with San Marino, which appeared from 1985-1988.

The Valencia High Tigers (20-1), the No. 1 overall seed, won their third straight CIF-SS championship and their first ever in Division III. They had won two straight Division IV titles.

"It's very special," said Valencia (Pla.) head coach Mike McCall. "I'm particularly proud of this team, because we had so much balance in doubles. The fact we came through in doubles really was the difference."

That difference was most evident when the Vikings teams of Amanda Jansson and Emily Fraczek and Eunice Pack and Clarice Fraczek both saw their big leads evaporate early in the day.

Jansson and Emily had a huge 5-1 advantage on Tiger Felicia Hsu and Larissa Yates, but lost 7-6 (7-3).

Pack and Clarice led 3-0, but lost to Crystal Lee and Paulina Tran 6-4.

The Vikings would have taken a 4-2 lead. Instead, it was the other way.

"It comes down to who can finish the point last and I guess we have to work on that," Emily Fraczek said. "I guess we both got nervous and tensed up. I think it was a lot of pressure (in the tiebreaker). It was really nerve-wracking."

From that point on, things began to unravel for the Foothill League champions.

The Tigers took over, racing out to a 9-3 lead. The 10th and deciding point came after Blair won 6-0 over Ashley Karzin. Yates and Hsu later turned a 2-all tie against Pack and Clarice into a 6-3 win.

Emily and Jansson were the only two who won two out of three matches, beating their next opponents, 6-1, 6-2.

Tran and Lee turned another 2-all tie into a 6-3 win over Thalia Wilczynski and Andrea Zammit, the Vikings' No. 3 doubles team.

Wilczynski and Zammit won one match, 6-4. Pack and Fraczek also won once, 6-1.

Wilczynski played the entire season as the Vikings' No. 2 singles player. She was put into doubles in hopes that she would help the Vikings get the doubles advantage.

All three Tigers singles players, Natalie McKay, Candace Wu and Blair, were among the top 80 juniors in California. They rolled past Isabella Fraczek, Kim and Karzin, 8-1.

Fraczek lost her second match to Wu, 6-2, and her final match as a high school player, 6-1, to McKay.

"I felt just exhausted," Fraczek said. "My right shoulder started acting up again."

Isabella Fraczek is the only one who played in all four finals. Wilczynski played in the previous three.

"It's very frustrating," Fraczek said. "It's not every time that a team can come here all four times."


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