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Valencia tennis: Dominance flexed

Valencia shows its depth in both singles and doubles in 17-1 victory Tuesday

Posted: September 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia No. 1 singles player Brigitta Benitez swept three sets for the Vikings on Tuesday afternoon at Valencia High School.

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It’s hard to place a label on Valencia girls tennis.

Another way to say that is: It’s hard to find a weakness on this team.

Top-to-bottom, Valencia flexed its dominance in a 17-1 win over Crescenta Valley on Wednesday at Valencia High School.

It’s just another step in the Vikings’ confidence-building campaign leading up to Foothill League play beginning next week.

“We’ve beaten teams this year that we did not last year,” said Valencia senior Brigitta Benitez. “I feel like this is a better team.”

Playing in the No. 1 singles spot, Benitez easily won her three sets on the day, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0.

She’s one of several returners on the team who believe they’ve significantly improved from a season ago.

So far, Valencia (9-3) has played a relatively busy schedule, including a tournament last weekend in Clovis.

The extra work has paid off so far.

“Playing a lot is giving us a lot of practice and getting us prepared for later,” said Vikings doubles player Ashley Keith.

Keith and her partner Tina Inchalik edged Crescenta Valley’s Jackie Dilanchyan and Vicktoriya Shumakova 7-5 in the first set of the day, then breezed through their next two sets 6-2, 6-0.

The Falcons (3-2) notched their lone victory when Dilanchyan and Shumakova came from behind to beat the Valencia pairing of Jennifer Ralston and Remy Balmain 7-5.

Ralston and Balmain won 6-3, 6-1 earlier in the match.

On the singles side, the Vikings had very little trouble, as Sabrina Wueste and Kaitlyn Choi both swept through three sets.

“Everyone is doing pretty well,” Benitez said. “I think everybody played a pretty good match today. We’ve been playing really well lately.”

With nothing but Saturday’s Fall Brawl standing between now and the start of league play, which opens up on Tuesday with a match against Saugus at 3 p.m., it’s a good sign for the Vikings.



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