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Foothill tennis: Dominant debut

Hart’s singles lineup proves the preleague hype was right

Posted: September 19, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 19, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Hart High No. 2 singles player Natalia Munoz eyes the ball as she competes against West Ranch on Tuesday at Hart High.

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One, by one, by one the vaunted Hart singles lineup did what it was expected to do all along — dominate.

The Indians’ Jackie Resler (6-1, 6-0, 6-0), Natalia Munoz (6-1, 6-1, 6-1) and Proyfon Lohaphaisan (6-0, 6-0, 6-0) swept all nine singles sets against defending Foothill League champion West Ranch as Hart defeated the Wildcats 12-6 on Tuesday afternoon at Hart High School in both teams’ league openers.

In doubles, the Indians’ No. 1 team of Lauren Dam and Bailey Sindle moved to the No. 3 position for the day, and swept three sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to secure the win for Hart.

“It’s all about their No. 1 doubles, it is,” said West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker. “There are adjustments we can make, and we didn’t. We didn’t even try them today.”

If Hart can continue to count on Dam and Sindle to win doubles sets, though, it might not matter what the rest of the league tries to do.

“I honestly think it’s almost impossible for us to be beaten if we keep up this good effort,” Resler said.

Of course, after just one match, there are plenty of sets to be played before a Foothill League champion is crowned, but for a team that was supposed to be dominant in singles, and full of questions in doubles, the start was as good as the Indians could have hoped.

And as impressive as the singles lineup was, it was Dam and Sindle that made the biggest difference.

After falling in Saturday’s Fall Brawl 8-7 (7-2) to West Ranch’s No. 1 doubles team of Hana El Arabi and Sydney Schwartz, Dam and Sindle gave their team a boost of confidence with a dominating 6-1 victory over the duo on Tuesday.

“Our confidence level is a bit up,” Dam said. “We all know this is our year. After losing to Schwartz and (El Arabi) in the Fall Brawl, we came in today with a positive attitude. ‘We’re going to do our best and play like we’ve never played before.’”

The question now becomes what happens if the singles lineup suffers a setback.

“There’s still some strong singles players and Brigitta (Benitez at Valencia) is excellent, and Canyon’s (Katrina DeGuzman). That’s the Achilles’ heel if they can get some singles sets,” Mansfield said.

On Tuesday, though, Hart’s formula for a league title was on full display.

Now, it’s up to the rest of the league to find a way to stop it.

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