Girls’ tennis places third at Peachtree tournament

September 23, 2008 — by Kelly Lamble and Annie Lee

If the Wawona Peachtree Classic in Fresno is any indication, the girls’ varsity tennis team may just beat their long-time rival the Monta Vista Matadors this year. Despite several close matches, the Falcons have been unable to defeat the Matadors since ending their 72-match win streak three years ago.

“I think this year we match up very well with Monta Vista and we have the opportunity to take the upper hand in this rivalry,” said Uyehara. “If everybody steps up to the plate and plays up to their best abilities, I think we will have no problem.”

The girls finished third at the Peachtree Tournament held Sept. 12-13. Coming back from a disappointing seventh place finish last year, the girls positioned themselves for a promising season.

“I was very impressed with the way we came together at the tournament,” said coach Tom Uyehara. “It’s definitely my best result in three years coaching here. I think it gives us good things to expect.”

Saratoga did not play Monta Vista at Peachtree, but they defeated St. Francis 6-1, a team that beat Monta Vista. The girls’ only loss in the tournament came to Mitty 2-5. Senior co-captain No. 3 singles’ player Kara Wang and No. 1 doubles team junior Annie Lee and freshman Sarah Lum brought home the teams’ two wins.

Although sophomore Shrinidhi Raghavan and junior Malavika Padmanabhan decided not to return to the team this year, Saratoga should have a good chance against the Matadors. Several strong freshmen, No. 4 singles player Crystal Yen, Lum and No. 2 doubles player Lisa Asai, have stepped in to fill out the team.

“[The freshmen] definitely add a lot of depth to the lineup, and I’m very impressed with the way they played and they way they integrated with the team,” said Uyehara.

Thanks to this depth, the team is hoping to improve on its semifinal finish at CCS last year.

“This team is more than capable of competing with the top teams in CCS,” said Uyehara. “Everyone has a common goal of winning and that helps bring the team together.”

In their first league match of the year, the girls’ put this attitude to the test, smothering Gunn 7-0 on Sept. 16. The girls also crushed Homestead 6-1 on Sept. 18. No. 1 doubles Lee and Lum lost an extremely close match 1-6, 6-3, 10-8.

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