Valencia’s Amanda Tabanera and Carlotta Nonnis-Marzano saw their historic postseason run come to an end Thursday at the Seal Beach Tennis Center, losing to Oaks Christian’s Emily Ackerman and Chloe Bendetti in the Southern Section girls tennis individual semifinals (6-7 (5-7), 1-6.
The Vikings duo jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first set but couldn’t hold on as it went into a tiebreaker. Once the set got to the tiebreaker, Vikings coach Annie Kellogg knew it would be an uphill battle.
“That first set burnt them out,” Kellogg said. “The momentum shifted and they never got it back. I really think if they had won that first set, they may have won the match.”
Bendetti was a CIF-SS finalist last season and Ackerman will be playing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next season.
“They’re a really, really tough team,” Kellogg said. “They’re also very tough to put away, which we saw in that first set.”
Kellogg, who’s been with the program for 22 years, said that the playoff run from Tabanera and Nonnis Marzano was the deepest in school history. They defeated Annika Bassey and Kristina Evloeva of Corona Del Mar in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.
The duo played singles most of the season, shifting to a doubles team full time in the Foothill League finals.
Kellogg had an inkling she’d be using them as a doubles team in the playoffs, though, after she tried them out as a pair at a preleague tournament.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, they’re pretty special together,’” Kellogg said. “I was pretty sure after that tournament we were going to pair them together in the postseason.”
Tabanera, a junior, is expected back next season. Nonnis-Marzano’s status is up in the air, as she was playing with the Vikings this year through a foreign exchange program. She expressed in returning for her senior season back in October.
Trinity Classical Academy’s Ashley Kua reached the CIF-SS Round of 16 on Wednesday, losing to San Marcos of Santa Barbara’s Yuke Perera (3-6, 6-7). Kua defeated Pasadena’s Jordan Wallace in the Round of 32 (6-1, 6-1).