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Prep tennis: The relentless

G.V.’s Ho, Valencia pair win league titles

Posted: October 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Golden Valley singles player Rebecca Ho watches her return shot on Thursday at The Paseo Club during the Foothill League Individuals Tournament. Ho was the singles champion.

 

Golden Valley senior Rebecca Ho avenged her only loss of the regular season in the best way possible, defeating Hart’s Natalia Munoz 6-3, 6-2 to repeat as the Foothill League Individuals Tournament champion on Thursday at The Paseo Club.

“I would make the case that Rebecca’s the best female athlete that’s ever been a part of Golden Valley athletics,” said Grizzlies head coach Josh Stimac. “I know we don’t have the history that other schools do, but within our program, and among Foothill female tennis players, she’s got a special place.”

At 3-all in the first set, Ho was able to turn the slugfest into a one-sided affair, both by putting away the shots she needed and by capitalizing on Munoz’s errors, which became more frequent as Ho got stronger.

“I try to play like I practice, and that means being relentless,” Ho said. “I try not to think of things in terms of winning or losing. That’s when I let pressure get to me. I try to stay as calm as possible.”

It was that attitude that helped Ho overcome Hart’s Jackie Resler in their semifinal matchup earlier on Thursday, in which Ho dropped the first frame 6-7 (6-8) only to storm back and capture the next two sets 6-1, 6-2.

Valencia’s Ashley Keith and Tina Inchalik suffered no such setbacks in their semifinal matchup against West Ranch’s Sydney Schwartz and Hana El Arabi, cruising to a 6-2, 6-3 win before turning in a perfect 6-0, 6-0 effort against teammates Alekhya Bommireddipalli and Lindsey Wolf to capture first place.

“(West Ranch head coach Eric) Spiecker was talking about how they just whittle opponents away,” said Vikings head coach Annie Kellogg. “I can definitely see that. They never do anything too flashy, but their consistency is probably really frustrating to handle if you’re an opponent.”

Such consistency enabled Keith, a senior, and Inchalik, a sophomore, to cruise to the first-place trophy without dropping a set.

Keith and Inchalik, along with Bommireddipalli and Wolf, and Ho and Munoz, will participate in the CIF-Southern Section Division II individuals playoffs, which will take place following the CIF-Southern Section Division II team playoffs that begin next week.

“The real goal of this tournament, beyond crowning a champion, is sending the best six players to represent the Foothill League in CIF, and generally that’s what happens” Kellogg said.

Thursday’s third-place matches were both contested between teammates.

Hart’s Proyfon Lohaphaisan defeated fellow Indian Jackie Resler 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in singles.

In doubles, West Ranch’s Amanda Wilkinson and Mackenzie Lyle defeated Schwartz and El Arabi 6-2, 7-5.

The draw for CIF-Southern Section Division II Team Playoffs will be released on Monday.

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