Girls Tennis: Local players gear up for postseason on the hard courts

East Sequoia League sends two teams to D-IV playoffs in Strathmore and Woodlake while other leagues send individual qualifiers

By Patrick Dillon

TULARE COUNTY – Individual and team league championships have been decided on the hard courts and now it is time for the quest for a section championship to begin. The East Sequoia League (ESL) had two teams qualify for the D-IV playoffs in the Woodlake Tigers and Strathmore Spartans.

The Spartans earned the seventh seed after finishing in a tie for second place in the ESL. They will face the tenth seeded Cesar Chavez Titans this Thursday. Strathmore will also send two players in Neha Reddy, and Hennasey Mendoza to the Individuals Central Area Tournament at Redwood High School on October 26-27.

Woodlake, despite having the individual ESL champion in Sierra Bolanos, will have to travel for their opening playoff game against the eighth seed Chowchilla Tribe after receiving the ninth seed.

“This is when we need to play our best tennis and focus on the things we can control,” Woodlake head coach Mike Judson said.

Joining Bolanos at the area tournament will be the Tigers top doubles team in Gizelle Castillo and Monique Romero. The duo took third place at the ESL tournament.

The Exeter Monarchs failed to qualify as a team but will also be sending league champions. Osiris Zepeda-Castro and Franki Velasquez entered the Central Sequoia League tournament as the top doubles team, and proved why. In the finals they knocked off the doubles team from Central Valley Christian with scores of 6-4, 6-4.

“They both really played up to their potential in this tournament,” Exeter head coach Carol Holman said.

Curtlynn Wendt will also be playing the area tournament after taking sixth as an individual.

The Blazers will have three players in this season’s area tournament at the end of the month. In the doubles is their strongest chance to qualify for valley. Stephanie Cueller and Victoria Sarkisian took second in the West Yosemite League tournament to top seeded Redwood. This duo has been in top form all season and there is no reason to believe they would stop now. The biggest area to improve in however, is their ability to put teams away.

“We just have to improve at putting the ball away,” Golden West head coach Cerena Pomp-Ortiz said. “We do that, and they stand a very good chance.”

Emily Wells will also represent the black and yellow and compete in the singles after taking sixth in the WYL tournament.

Start typing and press Enter to search