Coming away with a narrow victory, West Ranch girls tennis defeated the Pacific Coast League’s third-place finisher Northwood in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs on Wednesday at West Ranch.
The end result was 9-9, with the Wildcats winning in games, 71-68 to advance to the second round.
West Ranch’s Jordyn McBride set the tone, winning all three of her sets. She dropped only one game to Northwood’s No. 1 singles player.
“I was just trying to make a lot of balls and this girl was really good at defense,” McBride said. “She was getting a lot of my balls back so it was a great match for me just to get used to the atmosphere and the level of competition.”
McBride went on to win the next two sets with identical scores of 6-0, but that would be the last win for the Wildcats singles players as no other player would go on to win a set.
West Ranch’s No. 2 and No. 3 singles players Kayla Halberstrom and Elizabeth Gammariello fought valiantly in their first sets, but fell 0-6 and 3-6, respectively, and were subbed out in favor of Macy Muxlow and Ashley Tonthat for the rest of the day.
Muxlow and Tonthat went on to lose their two sets, but Muxlow picked up two games in her first set and another three crucial games in her second set with her Wildcats teammates roaring in the background.
“It was really encouraging knowing that they were all supporting me,” Muxlow said. “I love hearing their voices. They are a big encouragement so I probably wouldn’t have won those three points without them.”
The Wildcats doubles teams fared well against Northwood, winning six out of nine sets on the day, dropping three sets to their No. 1 doubles team.
After dropping the first set 3-6, West Ranch’s No. 1 doubles team of Chase Eisenberg and Shaira Busnawi won the next two sets, conceding just one game the rest of the way.
“We tried our best and we were really close in the first match, but we gave it 100 percent effort and I feel like we did a good job for our team,” Eisenberg said.
“I feel, like, ecstatic,” Busnawi said. “I’m so hyped and pumped and even though we are done playing, I’m so ready to cheer on all our other teammates.”
West Ranch’s No. 2 doubles team of Audrey Kim and Emily Andrews and the No. 3 doubles team Angelina Ciuffo and Brooke Johnston finished the day winning two of three sets.
“I think we did pretty well,” Kim said. “We stayed aggressive and confident with our shots. It’s our senior year so we are just going for everything and trusting ourselves. I think we did pretty well.”
“It came down to games so everything mattered,” West Ranch coach Dina McBride said. “Some of my subs fought for games and that was the difference.”
The Wildcats advance to the second round and will face Troy at Troy High School on Friday at 2 p.m