A program-first is usually met with strictly positive vibes, but West Ranch girls tennis coach Dina McBride is well aware of the road that lies ahead in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 tournament.
The Wildcats picked up their first-ever Division 1 postseason victory with a 13-5 victory over Los Alamitos on Wednesday afternoon at West Ranch. But the win sets up a Friday matchup at Campbell Hall, which took home the Gold Coast League title.
“We were hoping for a better draw but that’s obviously out of our control, and we just have to fight through it,” McBride said. “We’re not going to be satisfied with one victory. With the way our program is moving up, we expect to win multiple playoff matches.”
Sophomore Jordyn McBride once again took care of business, winning her three sets (6-1, 6-1, 6-0). The Wildcats’ doubles teams of Nicole Alvarez and Shaira Busnawi swept their sets (6-4, 6-0, 6-1). Danielle Hettinger and Chase Eisenberg won two sets (2-6, 7-5, 6-2) as well as
Audrey Kim and Emily Andrews (1-6, 6-0, 6-3)
“Nothing changes for us and the girls know how much importance each point carries compared to a regular-season match,” Dina McBride said. “We had a great season but nothing is guaranteed once you get (to the playoffs).
“I liked the intensity they played with.”
West Ranch was down a few regulars but got a boost from sophomore Angelina Ciuffo, who won two sets before being subbed out (6-4, 6-0).
“That’s what our future looks like,” said Dina McBride, on Ciuffo’s performance. “We’re going to lose six seniors off this year’s team but I don’t think we’re going to skip a beat because we have so much depth in players like (Ciuffo).”
Dina McBride lauded Los Alamitos’ No. 1 singles player, Lauren Nguyen, and the doubles team of Hailey Hairrell and Rebekah Chung. Los Alamitos (8-8) finished second in the Sunset League.
Alvarez and Busnawi were the only doubles team to win against Hairell and Chung while Jordyn McBride was the only Wildcats singles player to defeat Nguyen.