Girls serve up successful tennis season
Foothill wins EBAL; Foothill, Amador reach semifinals in NCS team tennis
Girls tennis at both Pleasanton high schools wrapped up victorious seasons this week, reaching the semifinals in the North Coast Section team championships.
The playoffs came on the heels of Foothill winning the championship title in the highly competitive East Bay Athletic League after 14 league matches, as well as bringing home the first-place title from the Logan High School Tennis Tournament.
"We've had an amazing experience," said Foothill Coach Kendra Zierau. "We have lot of good players who come together to be a really great team."
NCS team playoffs include four sets of singles and three sets of doubles. Foothill beat Alameda (7-0) and Mission San Jose (4-3) before being defeated by Monte Vista (4-3) in the NCS semifinals at Santa Rosa Junior College. Amador Valley bested Maria Carrillo (6-1) and San Ramon Valley (4-3) before falling to Tamalpais (4-3) in Santa Rosa.
"Both Foothill and Amador Valley lost our matches in third sets so the teams that went to the semifinals were remarkably close," said Claire Chinn, who co-coaches Amador Valley with Chris Anne Olenic. "This shows how strong everybody was."
Monte Vista faced Tamalpais in the finals in a match that began Saturday and finished Monday with Tamalpais winning (4-3).
Amador's Brooke Irish was chosen to represent EBAL in the NCS singles championships. At press time Wednesday, Irish was facing Dougherty Valley in the semifinals.
"It's a gift to have a player like Brooke Irish but to be No. 1 you have to have strength all the way down your ladder and that's what we've had this year," Amador Coach Chin said.
Amador finished third in EBAL, behind Foothill and Monte Vista. San Ramon was fourth.
"This was the best Amador has done in the history of Amador," said Chinn, who is in her seventh year of coaching at the high school.
Foothill doubles team Taylor Hoppe and Jessica Chen were chosen to represent EBAL at the NCS championships, and at press time Wednesday were facing Monte Vista in the semifinals.
"We have three major components to our program," Foothill Coach Zierau explained. "No. 1 is to develop our tennis game. We want them to be the best players they can be."
No. 2 is to develop the players as women of integrity, on and off the court, responding with grace whether they win or lose, she said, and the third component is to have fun.
"Sports are about growing as an athlete and as a person but at this level we sometimes forget about the purpose being to have fun," she said.
"We have an absolutely incredible team with incredible women who are such a joy to work with," Zierau said. "If this is what our future holds, we're in great shape."
Amador team members are Cassie Balducci, Jonelle Balducci, Claudia Chau, Emily Havannessian, Haley Howard, Brooke Irish, Janavi Kumar, Meghana Manne, Megan Marschall, Karly McCloskey, Niki Mohebi, Sanjana Seth, Kelly Villanueva, Claire Williams, Jenny Yang and Rachel Yang.
Foothill team members are Navdeep Chahal, Jessica Chen, Leeane Chen, Shivani Doraiswami, Kayla Haykin, Taylor Hoppe, Camille Lusher, Melissa Muller, Kirtana Nadella, Ellen Ouyang, Kelsey Ouyang, Terri Scott, Alison Wong and Alicia Yang. Assistant coach is Yvonne Hoppe.