The Yosemite High School girls tennis team (12-8, 8-2) dominated mountain rival Sierra 9-0 on Sept. 9, a victory that clinched second place in the North Sequoia League for the Badgers.
"Winning this match in such a convincing fashion was huge for the girls," said head coach Stan Lawrence. "It demonstrates how far they have come since their narrow win over Sierra in the first half of league play. I can't remember a team with more mental toughness than this one. These girls constantly battle back from being behind and win almost every tiebreaker. They have worked hard this year."
Senior-dominated Liberty went 10-0 to take the league championship. The Hawks only loss on the season was to Div. I powerhouse Clovis West.
According to Lawrence, junior Angie Du has emerged as a team leader with her gritty, determined play.
She won a hard-fought match against Liberty's No. 2 player Bethany Butchnoff, who transferred to Liberty from Yosemite, in their second match-up. In their first match, it was Butchnoff who gave Du her only loss in league play.
In her second match with Butchnoff, Du won the first set 6-2, lost the second 7-4 and was down 5-2 in the third set before winning 10-8.
Du made another come back against Sierra last week.
"Against Sierra, she lost the first set 6-2 but came back to win 6-2 in the second set," Lawrence said. "After falling behind 6-2 in the tiebreaker she went on to win eight straight points against Shelly Johnson to win the match. Angie is a quiet leader that leads by example, always playing her hardest in practice and in matches."
Du was 9-1 in league on the season.
"I improved over the season and learned to fight to win," Du said. "My serving got stronger as the season went on as well as my play at the net. I'm proud of what I have accomplished this year."
Number one player junior Natalya Choin won easily against her Sierra opponent, Hallie Huebner.
"Natalya's natural ability has given her the upper hand in most of her matches this season," Lawrence said.
Senior Bridgette Ash, playing in the No. 3 position, fell behind 4-1 in the first set before coming back to win the set. She then went ahead to easily win the second. "Bridgette's footwork has improved so much over the three years she has played," Lawrence said. "Because of this I wouldn't count her out of any match."
Number four, senior Katrina Burrough, Yosemite's No. 4 player, was down early as well before coming back to win the first set and easily win the second.
Sophomore Ally Alm, at No. 5, in a rematch of her marathon match from a couple of weeks ago, split sets before dominating the tiebreaker 10-4.
Yosemite's Robin Meister, a senior, won easily at No. 6. Number three doubles team of junior Allison Boyer and sophomore Kristin Bonnillas beat their Sierra opponents 8-4. The Badgers won easily at 1 and 2 doubles completing the 9-0 sweep. On Oct. 11, the Badgers easily defeated Washington Union 6-0 in a rain shortened match.
The team participated in the NSL Tournament yesterday. Results were not available at press time.