Girls’ Tennis: Team expects to excel with strong line-up

October 28, 2009 — by Lauren Kuan and Denise Lin

A second-place finish in CCS is a tough act to follow, but that’s exactly what the current girls’ tennis players intend to do after having achieved that feat last season. In fact, with the current impressive singles and doubles line-up, the team expects to place first or second in the league this year.

“This year a lot of teams have added depth with some incoming freshmen, but at the same time we have depth too in our lineup,” said head coach Tom Uyehara, who is coaching his fourth season of girls’ tennis this year. “That’s what is going to help us.”

According to Uyehara, the key component is the doubles teams. In addition, singles players such as sophomore Crystal Yen, junior Catherine Nguyen and senior Mika Padmanabhan will be vital to the team’s hopes.

Playing in the De Anza division, the upper echelon of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League, the team will have to face off against some of the Bay Area’s strongest teams including rivals Monta Vista and Lynbrook. However, the team that the players really want to beat is Archbishop Mitty. Mitty is part of the West Catholic Athletic League, and their team won CCS last year.

“I think that there’s not that much a difference between us and Mitty,” said Nguyen. “Saratoga deserves a chance to win; we work really hard every day.”

Senior team captain Samantha Tsang believes that the connection and friendship that the players share with each other will benefit the team during the season.

“Our team is really tight right now so I think that we can make it to NorCal,” said Tsang. “Everyone needs to work together to pull off a win and if we work really hard, it’ll all pay off.”

The team traveled to Fresno on Sept. 10 to compete in the California High School Girls Tennis Classic and came back with three wins and one loss, placing third in the tournament.

“They went above and beyond my expectations,” said Uyehara of the players’ performance.

The team played against tough teams from both Southern California and the local area. Both singles and doubles players contributed to the success of the team.

“Each match, somebody stepped up,” said Uyehara. “There was a good balance.”

Nguyen, Yen and sophomore singles player Lisa Asai ranked two, three and four respectively, all went undefeated.

“[I’m] most impressed with [Asai] since it was her first time playing singles for the team,” said Uyehara.

In every match, Asai lost the first set but came back and won the second set and tiebreaker.

The tournament marked the start of a successful season, which was continued when the team beat Los Altos on Sept. 17, 6 to 1.

“Overall I was impressed and it gave me a lot of high hopes for this season,” said Uyehara.

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