Team caught in three-way tie for first in division

October 15, 2008 — by Kelly Lamble and Annie Lee

The sunlight began to wane and the temperature began to drop as the girls’ tennis team lined the fence, watching anxiously as two lone figures continued to do battle on Oct. 7. Back and forth the ball soared as the match between long-time rivals Saratoga and Monta Vista hovered at a 3-3 standstill. No. 4 singles player freshmen Crystal Yen finally lost 6-4 in the third set after several hours of nail-biting play, bringing the final score to a disappointing 4-3 loss.

No. 2 singles player sophomore Catherine Nguyen brought home the only singles win of the match, 7-6 (11-9), 6-2. The Falcons’ other wins came at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. No.1 doubles team junior Annie Lee and freshman Sarah Lum won a tough first set 7-6 (7-3), then dominated the second set 6-0. No. 2 doubles team freshman Lisa Asai and sophomore Mary Edman came back after losing the first set 3-6 to win 6-4, 6-2.
No. 1 singles player senior co-captain Lindsey Marsh lost a tough match in two tiebreakers. No. 3 doubles team, junior co-captain Samantha Tseng and sophomore Carolyn Chen, also fell to the Matadors’ onslaught.

“Our singles match up very well, but if we’re going to beat Monta Vista and the tougher teams in our league, we need to work on doubles,” said coach Tom Uyehara.

The girls have until Oct. 21 to beef up their doubles, as that is when they play Monta Vista again.

“That match is going to be won in the doubles department,” said Uyehara. “They have very tough singles so we’re going to have to sweep the doubles. I think the chemistry is very good between the teams but we just have to be a little more consistent day in and day out.”

Despite this loss, the Falcons still have a 6-1 record and are in a three-way tie for first in the El Camino Division along with Monta Vista and Palo Alto.

Although it has not had a strong tennis tradition, Palo Alto proved to be surprisingly tough this year. The Falcons barely scraped by with a win on Oct. 2, taking the match 4-3.

Part of what made this match so difficult was that Palo Alto appeared to stack its players. According to the Saratoga team, the girls who usually play No. 2 and No. 3 singles dropped down to challenge the Falcons’ No. 1 doubles team. As a result, the Falcons dropped the No. 1 doubles match, while Nguyen and No. 3 singles player senior co-captain Kara Wang breezed to easy victories. The Falcons also lost No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles.

“They came out with a different lineup than I expected, but I think we played very well despite that,” said Uyehara.

As the girls prepare for the second half of their season, they are hoping to break the current three-way tie for first and come out on top.

“I’m very happy with the results for the first half of the season. I think we are considered one of the teams to beat,” said Uyehara. “With the depth that we have in our lineup, we are hopefully one of the top three in CCS this year.”

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