Following wins over Sierra and Washington Union to close out their regular season, Yosemite High School’s girls tennis team (11-5, 6-4 North Sequoia League) entered the playoffs for the first time in four years this week.
The NSL tournament was scheduled for Oct. 12 in Kerman.
Last week marked strong showings by the team, as they defeated Sierra at home 9-0 Oct. 4, then followed that up with a road win over Washington Union 8-1 Oct. 6.
As the final home game for the team’s four seniors Jen Springer, Brenda Marquez, Chloe Pieper, and German exchange student Julia Knott, the win over Sierra was described as bittersweet.
“I’m excited but I’m also a little upset,” said Springer, the team’s No. 6 ranked player who defeated her opponent 6-1. “I’ve grown really close to the girls and coaches. It hasn’t hit me yet that this was my last game, and I don’t want it to hit me.”
“It was an amazing year,” added Pieper. “Everyone got along and had a good time. This was definitely the best year of tennis.”
Against Sierra, No. 1 Badger Kendall Miller won 6-1, 6-0, No. 2 Ari Bhalla won 6-1,6-0, No. 3 Lauren Wharton and No. 4 Maddie Sloas both won 6-0, 6-0, and No. 5 player Emilie Neff won 6-0, 6-1.
In doubles play, Miller and Bhalla won 8-0, Wharton and Sloas won 8-1, and Boston Thome and Andie Miller won 8-4.
Against Washington Union, Kendall Miller lost 4-6, 0-6, while Bhalla, Wharton, Sloas, Neff, and Springer all won by wide margins.
Kendall Miller and Bhalla won 8-1 in doubles, alongside an 8-1 win for Wharton and Sloas and an 8-2 win for Thome and Andie Miller, who were undefeated in doubles all season.
Head coach Aaron Eames said his team was looking forward to the playoffs, with the Central Section Tournament Oct. 20.
“The playoffs will be a great experience for our girls and valuable for next year, as we return our top five players,” Eames said.