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Prep tennis: Valencia pair knocked out

Ashley Keith and Tina Inchalik elimited in CIF round of 32

Posted: November 28, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 28, 2012 1:55 a.m.

This year’s Valencia girls tennis team never went away easily.

Its doubles team of Ashley Keith and Tina Inchalik embodied that attitude all season long.

And although the pairing fought until the very last point on Tuesday at the CIF-Southern Section Individual tournament on Tuesday, its run came to an end in the round of 32 at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center.

Keith and Inchalik fell behind early in both sets and couldn’t recover, eventually losing 6-4, 6-3 to the Diamond Bar High team of Evelynn Wang and Melody Chen.

“They were really consistent,” Keith said of her opponents. “I thought for us, we really had to have good ground strokes and be aggressive at the net. Every point was a challenge.”

The Valencia team trailed 5-1 in the opening set, but battled back to make it 5-4 and fought off a set point before just falling short.

“I feel like they were a very consistent team,” Inchalik said. “I think we could have been more aggressive and ended points quicker.”

To get to this point, Keith and Inchalik had to win three matches in the opening portion of the CIF-SS tournament, which took place on Nov. 19 in Carpinteria.

Those three matches were part of the Division II tournament, but all Southern Section teams were condensed into one pool of 32 teams on Tuesday.

In other words, this Valencia team was facing the best teams in Southern California.

“It was very cool. I think they were really excited,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. “I think on a better day, they might get that (Diamond Bar) team. But credit to them, that team played tough.”

The last time a Valencia team made it this far in the CIF individual tournament was 2010, when Emily and Clarice Fraczek made it to the round of 16.

This season, Keith and Inchalik, a senior and sophomore, respectively, played as Valencia’s No. 1 doubles team all season and anchored one of the best doubles lineups in the Foothill League.

The two of them won the Foothill doubles championship to earn a spot in the CIF-SS Division II tournament.

They were the last two Foothill players standing in the postseason.

“I had a really great four years,” Keith said. “This season went a lot better than I expected it to go. Everything that I could have ever wanted for my senior year happened and more.”


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