Team beats rival Los Gatos, tied for first in league with Wildcats

October 26, 2016 — by Caitlin Ju

Girls tennis look forward to CCS after finishing their league games.

With all three doubles in the bag, the team looked on eagerly as freshman No. 4 singles player Annissa Mu gained a 3-2 lead in the second set of the deciding match against Los Gatos on Oct. 18.

The first league matchup against Los Gatos earlier in the season ended in a controversial 4-3 loss for the Falcons.  

Mu knew how much her match meant, but even with the pressure, the freshman secured the match 6-1, 6-2. The team could finally let out a sigh of relief; they had evened the score with their rivals.

The match figures heavily in the league title. By winning, the Falcons are tied as De Anza League champions with Los Gatos.

As the strongest teams in CCS, both having having won state-level tournaments, the rivalry will continue in a tiebreaker match solely for future CCS seeding purposes. The match will occur at an undetermined date.

The Falcons breezed through their other league matches with the exception of a difficult matchup against Cupertino on Oct. 25. The girls won 4-3 against the Pioneers with a close deciding win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 from No. 2 singles freshman Monica Stratakos, helping them secure a 11-1 league season record. On Oct. 20, the team beat Homestead 6-1 and on Oct. 11 also defeated Monta Vista 6-1.

During the Los Gatos away match, No. 1 doubles senior Danielle Berkowitz-Sklar and freshman Varsha Horantur and No. 2 doubles seniors Daviana Berkowitz Sklar and Kelly Hsu started strong, winning in straight sets. Given that the Wildcats only have five courts, both Mu and No. 3 doubles junior Elizabeth Lee and senior Neeka Nikfar were unable to start until both a doubles match and singles match had finished. With all three other singles having lost, it put pressure on the remaining matches to both win.

“It was annoying only being able to watch for a long time in such an important match,” Nikfar said. “It was getting dark and hard to see by the time our match ended.”

The doubles were all able to secure much quicker wins this time, as Los Gatos had previously switched their No. 1 and No. 2 doubles only against the Falcons. Against all other teams in the league, the Wildcats had the reversed lineup.

“Clearly something wasn’t right, because the first time we lost in a close match against their then-No. 2 doubles team,” Hsu said. “But in this match we were playing the team they had previously placed at No. 1 doubles and we won more easily.”

Knowing they will likely face Los Gatos in CCS, which begins Nov. 7, the team is working hard.

“As long as we all work together and do what we have been doing, we are optimistic we can do well in CCS and place high in NorCals again,” Daviana said.

Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon was unable to cover the match against Gunn on Oct. 27.

 
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