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Grizzlies and Vikes girls tennis reschedule games due to heat

It’s safe to say Californians no strangers to the sun or the heat. But thanks to the current heatwave that has impacted the West Coast since June, the weather is now making a dent in Foothill League sports.

The Golden Valley and Valencia girls tennis teams were both slated to host nonleague opponents today, but due to the growing concern of the student-athletes’ well-being and safety opted to cancel today’s matches and reschedule for a later date.

The Vikings were set to welcome Oaks Christian onto their home court today and the Grizzlies were supposed to host Simi Valley. Both games were scheduled for a 3 p.m. start time. 

“It’s hot outside and the court is substantially hotter, especially when you are closer to the ground and just to be safe for our athletes,” said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac. “It’s better and safer if we can reschedule for a day that’s going to be a bit cooler and it keeps the kids safer.”

Valencia coach Jennifer Azevedo has already rescheduled the varsity game for a later date this season on October 9.

Golden Valley will take on Simi Valley on Wednesday, Sept. 18 and as a precaution, rescheduled tomorrow’s game against Chatsworth for next Tuesday, Sept. 10.

“Obviously, when you play a match, it’s a little more intense, so I definitely don’t want to play a match because I have some girls that are going to have to play three full sets of tennis,” Stimac said. “As far as practice goes, I try to break it up a lot more with water breaks and get into the shade a little bit, talk about things and get back out there. 

Practicing our serves that aren’t necessarily aerobic and we aren’t expending as much energy in the heat. It’s just to work on our strokes. At the same time, I like to get the girls out there to get the girls acclimated to the heat.”

The Grizzlies ended up practicing as a team and worked on specific tiebreaker scenarios, but still never complained about being the conditions. 

They just want to play.

“My JV coach and I were talking about it today as we were standing there watching the girls play a coupe tiebreakers and we both commented on the lack of complaints from the girls on having to be out there today,” Stimac said. “They really do enjoy the sports and even though the conditions aren’t prime at Golden Valley on a day like today, they did what they needed to do, but my kids are terrific.”

The Grizzlies play again on the road against Royal High School at 3 p.m. on Monday while the Vikings visit Granada Hills Charter at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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