Girls' tennis seeks ranking jump before CIF

A lot can change in a month. For the girls’ tennis team, it is equally important that in the month that stands between them and CIF playoffs, some things change while some stay the same. The team, currently ranked seventh in the CIF Division I standings, needs to move up in standings, in order to have an easier time in the postseason, Head Coach Chris Simpson said.
“Ideally, you want to be the four or five seed to stay away from the one, two or three teams in the quarterfinals because those are very deep programs and we wouldn’t be able to trouble them,” Simpson said.
The team will achieve that by playing the same as they have been. The Wolverines are 9-1 as of press time, and have won seven straight matches, including a nailbiter against Santa Barbara on Oct. 3. The score against the Dons was 9-9 in matches, but 81-75 in games. This six game lead was the deciding factor for the overall match. The Santa Barbara victory takes on added importance as Santa Barbara is currently fifth in CIF.
“I can definitely see the team going at least to [CIF] quarterfinals,” team co-captain Kristina Park ’13 said. “After the Santa Barbara win, we have a lot of momentum, and I think we’ll make it really far.”
To secure that all-important no. 5 ranking, the team needs to win in its Oct. 17 and Oct. 22 matches against Palos Verdes and Thousand Oaks, according to, Simpson.
“Palos Verdes has always been a tough match for us, but what I told the girls is even if you don’t win your match just focus on every single game because that’s what it came down to in the Santa Barbara match,” co-captain Savannah de Montesquiou ’13 said. “I think just focusing on one point at a time instead of winning or losing an entire match is what’s really going to make the difference.”
The team’s lone loss came Sept. 12 against No. 4 Peninsula.
“We’ll be much improved by the end of the season where they’ll be the same as always,” Simpson said of the Peninsula team. “By the end of October, we’ll be a good team.”
The Wolverines have struggled with injuries recently, both large and small.
Star freshman Julianna Simon ’16 will miss the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in one of her lumbar vertebrae.
Three other freshman have stepped up fill the gap left by Simon, who would have played singles.
Julia Goldberg ’16 now plays at the team’s No. 1 two singles spot, behind de Montesquiou ’13 at No 1.
“It’s very different from middle school tennis,” Goldberg said. “You get to interact a lot more with your team, and the matches are a lot longer.”
Freshmen are also playing prominent roles in doubles. Joelle Choi ’16 is one half of the No. 1 doubles team along with Park.
“We play really well together because I’m more aggressive at the net and she sets up plays and shots for me,” Park said. “Even though there’s a big age gap, it’s not a big deal. We’ll do well in playoffs.”
The team will play Notre Dame and Flintridge Sacred Heart tomorrow and next Tuesday, respectively.

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