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Foothill tennis: Vikes have a big say

Perennial achievers still have to be considered a favorite

Posted: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Valencia singles player Katelyn Choi approaches a ball to return on Friday at Valencia High School.

 

Valencia girls tennis certainly isn’t going anywhere.

For years, there have been up and comers who have tried, and in last year’s case succeeded in taking away the title of best girls tennis team in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This year is no different, as the Vikings will see their share of challengers.

Yet the Vikings really said something by defeating Golden Valley 15-3 on Thursday at Valencia High.

The Grizzlies, (1-1 in the Foothill League) considered a team with an outside shot at the CIF-Southern Section team playoffs, was dominated by the overwhelming talent of the Vikings’ doubles teams.

Valencia (11-3 overall, 2-0 in league) won all nine sets on the doubles side, dropping just four games.

All of the Vikings duos had strong showings.

Ashley Keith and Tina Inchalik swept 6-0, 6-0, 6-0; Alekhya Bommireddipalli and Lindsey Wolf won 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 and Jennifer Ralston and Remy Balman won 6-1, 6-0 and 6-2.

“We’re always known for our depth in doubles, and we’re going to need it this year,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. “There are some thoroughbreds in singles in this league.”

Keith and Inchalik are coming off a doubles championship at last Saturday’s Fall Brawl — an annual invitational tournament at Valencia High.

Both girls said they feel they were riding the momentum from that victory.

“I think we’re just doing really good because the Fall Brawl gave us that confidence,” said the sophomore Inchalik.

Said Keith: “We’ve been steady. We’ve been in a rhythm.”

Valencia had that same rhythm on the singles side for the most part.

One girl disrupted it somewhat, though.

Reigning All-Santa Clarita Valley Singles Player of the Year Rebecca Ho sliced through the Vikings’ singles players, winning 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.

“She’s difficult to read,” said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac of the senior. “She’s very stoic. I can’t tell by her face if she’s winning or losing. That’s intimidating for a lot of players.”

Otherwise, the Vikings dropped just three games in singles, with sophomore Katelyn Choi having the best showing, winning her other two sets 6-0, 6-0.

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