Golden Valley's Ashleigh Azarraga returns a volley in a matchup with Canyon at Canyon High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Golden Valley girls tennis defeats Canyon for first league win

The Golden Valley girls tennis team logged its first Foothill League win of the season on Tuesday, defeating Canyon on the road 14-4.

The Grizzlies dominated on the doubles side, earning all nine possible points.

The No. 1 team of Evelyn Kong and Kennedi Williams won their sets 6-0, 6-4, 6-2 and the No. 3 team of Ashley Yoon and Julie Jeon won their sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

The No. 2 team of Mindy Mellow and Roselyn Uy lost just one game in their three sets. 

Golden Valley’s Makayla Zareno goes for a shot in a matchup with Canyon at Canyon High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“I liked that my girls were out there fighting for every single point,” said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac. “They would get up in matches and they weren’t changing what they were doing, they were sticking to the game plan. A lot of times players will get up in a match and change what they’re doing, which makes no sense. They played within themselves and did what it took to win every set by a good margin.”

Golden Valley’s No. 1 singles player Makayla Zareno won two of her three sets, defeating Canyons No. 2 Brooklyn Rappe 6-2 and No. 3 Maya Bernal 6-0.

Ashleigh Azarraga, the No. 2 for the Grizzlies, also won two of three sets. She defeated Rappe 6-0 and Bernal 6-1.

Canyon got three points from its No. 1 singles player Amber Kashay. She defeated Zareno 6-2, Azarraga 6-3 and Golden Valley’s No. 3 Jaiden Goudey 6-1.

“She’s kind of quiet, but when she speaks people listen to her because they see her results on the court,” Canyon head coach Richard Bristow said of Kashay’s leadership. “She’s far and away our best player, she leads by example and when she does tell her teammates something they listen to her.”

Canyon’s Amber Kashay returns a volley in a matchup with Golden Valley at Canyon High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The Cowboys got one last point from Rappe, who defeated Star Hartnek 6-3 in the final round. Hartnek subbed in for Goudey after her second set.

Rappe, a freshman, has shown tremendous improvement since the start of the season and is coming into her own.

“She’s a freshman, she’s young and I’ve definitely seen her getting more comfortable in the matches,” Bristow said of Rappe. “She’s got good strokes and I think she’s starting to put it together and figuring out how to win matches.”

Canyon will look for its first league win on Thursday, as the Cowboys host Hart.

Canyon’s Brooklyn Rappe goes for a shot in a matchup with Golden Valley at Canyon High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“It’s going to be another tough match, this is a tough league,” Bristow said. “I want to see them continue to make changes during the match if something is not working. Hopefully we can find that magic formula of change that helps us compete against Hart.”

Golden Valley has a chance to string together consecutive league wins when it faces Saugus on Thursday on its home courts.

“We want to carry some momentum in against Saugus and my girls are going to have to work really hard to beat a team like Saugus because that’s a team with a lot of experience,” Stimac said. “It’s going to be a tall order for us but it is within reach I think, as long as I have girls that show up ready to fight and ready to stay the course just like they did today. Playing good, consistent tennis.”

Both matches are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

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