If the Yosemite High School girl’s young tennis team’s Sept. 1 season opening match is any indication, it could be a good year for the Badgers and Coach Aaron Eames.
Six of the top eight players on the varsity squad are sophomores, and there is only one senior (Mia Bullock), and one junior (Jen Springer) on the team.
“We have some good young players with a lot of promise ... we have a young team that really supports each other and has quickly become a family,” Eames said. “The sky is the limit and the future for Badger’s girls tennis looks very good.”
After being tied 4-4 after the first eight matches, senior Mia Bullock and sophomore Madilyn Sloas won the final doubles match of the day (9-8 - 7-5) to give the Badgers the 5-4 victory over Madera South High School Sept. 1.
The Badger’s top three players, all sophomores, won their matches. No. 1 Lauren Wharton (8-2); No. 2 Ari Bhalla (6-2); and No. 3 Kendall Miller (8-2).
The athletic Wharton, 4-foot-10, 86 pounds, took up the sport of tennis just last year, and finished her inaugural season as the No. 4 player on the varsity squad.
“When I was young, my parents would take me to the tennis courts with them when they played, but I didn’t like tennis then and didn’t want to play,” Wharton said.
Her friend Emily Neff encouraged her to play last year, and now Wharton is looking forward to improving her game during her second season on the varsity team.
Bhalla had a good season on the JV team last season, and has improved her game in preparation for this year.
Miller finished her freshman year on the varsity team last year as the No. 6 player.
In the Madera South match, Yosemite’s No. 4, 5 and 6 players, were defeated. Sophomore Neff (8-4), junior Jen Springer (9-8), and sophomore Chloe Piper (9-8).
In double matches, Wahrton/Bhalla won 8-2, and Miller-Neff won 2-8 before the Bullock/Sloas tie-breaking win.
The team made it two wins in two days with a 8-2 win over Hoover High on Sept. 2.
Winning their second match of the season were Wharton (8 - 4), and Miller (8 - 3). Also getting wins against their Hoover opponents were Neff (8 - 1), Springer (8 - 2), and Chloe Pieper (8-5).
Wahrton and Bhalla again won their doubles match, as did Miller and Springer (8 - 6).
On Sept. 3. the team suffered its first loss of the young season against a seasoned Roosevelt High team in Fresno, 8-1.
The team was at Chowchilla Tuesday for the opening of North Sequoia League play, and hosts Liberty High today (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. Liberty is the defending CIF Central Section D-IV champions.