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Foothill tennis roundup: Hart hits stride after first round

Indians win crucial match against Golden Valley; West Ranch, Valencia win big

Posted: September 27, 2016 10:33 p.m.
Updated: September 27, 2016 10:33 p.m.
The Hart High No. 1 doubles team of Cameron Schwartz, left, and Sarah Backer, right, high-five between sets during their match against Golden Valley on the road on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. The Hart High No. 1 doubles team of Cameron Schwartz, left, and Sarah Backer, right, high-five between sets during their match against Golden Valley on the road on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
The Hart High No. 1 doubles team of Cameron Schwartz, left, and Sarah Backer, right, high-five between sets during their match against Golden Valley on the road on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Golden Valley second doubles player Kaylah Fernzando returns a hit to her opponent during a tennis match against Hart on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Golden Valley second doubles player Kaylah Fernzando returns a hit to her opponent during a tennis match against Hart on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Golden Valley second doubles player Kaylah Fernzando returns a hit to her opponent during a tennis match against Hart on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Hart second singles player Mansi Sharma returns a shot to her opponent during a tennis match at Golden Valley on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze. Hart second singles player Mansi Sharma returns a shot to her opponent during a tennis match at Golden Valley on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
Hart second singles player Mansi Sharma returns a shot to her opponent during a tennis match at Golden Valley on Tuesday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.
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A handful of Foothill League girls tennis matches will go a long way in determining third place.

Tuesday’s Hart-Golden Valley showdown was one of them.

The Indians won several close sets in round one to pull away from the Grizzlies, 13-5, at Golden Valley High and settle into third place — for now.

“I think that Canyon, Saugus and Golden Valley, the teams we beat in the first round of league, I feel they think they can take us in the second round,” said Hart coach Allan Hardbarger. “We need to play well and be ready for them because they’re going to come at us twice as hard.”

PHOTOS: Golden Valley girls tennis hosts Hart

Tuesday wrapped up the first round of Foothill League play, with all six teams having played five matches.

If Golden Valley (3-6 overall, 1-4 in league) had beaten Hart (4-5, 3-2) it would have created a three-way tie with Saugus for third place.

Hart’s clutch play kept that from happening.

The Indians won seven sets by scores of 6-3 or closer, with two tiebreakers.

The No. 3 pairing of Rachael Nivichanov and Zoe Witherspoon won 7-6 (8-6 tiebreak), 6-4 and 7-5.

Hart led 5-1 after one round, but, in reality, it was closer.

“We were at a point in the first round where we could have been up 4-2,” said Grizzlies coach Josh Stimac. “But we lost three close sets and went down 5-1 and from that point, it’s a matter of Hart maintaining momentum.”

The Indians did that behind an overall sweep by its doubles teams.

In addition to Nivichanov and Witherspoon, Zoe Morris and Shannon Sindle won three sets — as did Cameron Schwartz and Sarah Backer.

“It just boosts us for the next round and mentally tells us we can do it,” Schwartz said of the win.

Golden Valley’s No. 1 single Kirsten Azarraga swept three sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-0, continuing a strong first season as a Grizzly after transferring from Valencia.

West Ranch 16, Saugus 2

In a battle of No. 1 singles, Wildcat freshman Jordyn McBride beat Saugus senior Megan Cho, 6-1. West Ranch doubles lost just one game the whole match.

The Wildcats are 11-2 overall and 5-0 in league. Saugus is 3-7 and 2-3.

Valencia 16, Canyon 2

Ashita Tanwar won three singles sets for the Vikings, who improved to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in league. Cowboys No. 1 single Adrienne Kashay won two sets, 6-3, 6-1.

Canyon is 1-8 overall and 0-5 in league.

Valencia swept in doubles, losing just three games.

From Saturday

West Ranch wins Fall Brawl

At Valencia High’s annual Fall Brawl tournament, West Ranch won the team title with a score of 24. Valencia was second with 18 points, and Arroyo Grande followed with 13.

Valencia’s Amanda Tabanera won the singles title, taking down West Ranch’s Jordyn McBride in the final, 8-4.

Cori Raffish and Quinterra Walter-Eze of West Ranch won the doubles title. They beat Ahanti Bommireddipalli and Vasvi Mongia of Valencia, 8-1, in the final.

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