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Prep Tennis: Once again by a nose

West Ranch wins Fall Brawl, edging Valencia by a point

Posted: September 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Whether it counts toward the final record or not, Valencia and West Ranch are always fighting it out for first place in girls tennis.

For the second time in three days, West Ranch squeaked by Valencia by a single point, this time winning 18-17 in the final team tallies of the 2011 Fall Brawl on Saturday at Valencia High School.

The Fall Brawl doesn’t count toward Foothill League records, but West Ranch’s win over Valencia on Thursday did. In that matchup, the Wildcats won 78-77 on games after the contest finished in a 9-9 tie.

“I think its good for the team to realize that it truly is a team sport,” said West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker. “I think that everybody realizes it when you win by one point. Every little bit counts.”

West Ranch’s points came from relatively equal contributions from the singles and doubles tournaments. It sent two doubles teams to the semifinals and saw singles player Ana Cecilia Fuentes make the final.

Fuentes lost 8-0 to the tournament’s No. 1 seed Rebecca Ho from Golden Valley.

The Grizzlies ended up in third place overall with 14 points in the tournament that included all six Foothill teams as well as St. Bonaventure and Pioneer Valley.

For Valencia, the lion’s share of points came in doubles, where it was an all-Vikings final. Shenelle Trujillo and Michelle Savage defeated Jenny Miller and Lindsey Bridges 8-3 to help Valencia earn its sixth consecutive doubles crown at the annual Fall Brawl.

“I didn’t think it would be very hard,” Savage said of facing her teammates in the final, “but it was really intensified and it was really a challenge.”

As the No. 2 seed, Savage and Trujillo were expected finalists.

Miller and Bridges, on the other hand, had to upset the No. 1-seeded pairing, topping West Ranch’s Lena Poonnapatam and Gabrielle Morici 8-7 (7-2) in the semifinal.

Poonnapatam and Morici took third place.

“Had my doubles played like this on Thursday, we would have won for sure,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg.
The Vikings also snagged a victory in the consolation bracket of the doubles tournament with Ashley Keith and Lyndsey Wolf earning the victory.

In the singles consolation, West Ranch freshman Julia Lynch beat Saugus’ Megann Soucy 8-4 in the final.

Hart ended up as the fourth place finisher with 11 team points. Jackie Resler was the best finisher for the Indians, claiming third place in the singles competition.

Though Saturday is one indication of where the league pans out, it may be too early to make any major conclusion.

“You’ve got to let Valencia and West Ranch go against some of the other teams in the league first,” Spiecker said.


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