McBride repeats as singles champ; Valencia doubles team takes title at league finals

Valencia doubles pair Sydney Thay (left) and Brenna Whelan return a volley at the Foothill League Finals at the Paseo Club in Valencia Wednesday morning. Cory Rubin/The Signal

West Ranch girls tennis player Jordyn McBride won her third consecutive Foothill League tennis title on Thursday at Paseo Club, but she did so in a different way.

The senior played a teammate in the league finals for the first time ever. She faced Annette Robertson and beat her 6-0, 6-1.

“I don’t think anybody likes playing against their teammate, especially against their friend but I feel like it’s part of life in tennis,” McBride said. “You have to play your friends because not only are you guys getting better you also are competing against each other so it’s inevitable to play your friends.”

Although McBride got the win, Robertson didn’t make it easy with her hard hits and serves. McBride’s hits forced her teammate to move around the court, but Robertson was able to return most of them swiftly.

“She hits a very big ball,” McBride said. “She hits very hard, which I was thinking like, just get them back and just keep them in the court and just keep trying to make one more ball, one more ball, because she’s a good, hard hitter.”

McBride beat Saugus’ Emily Christensen 3-6, 6-2, 10-5 in a tiebreaker in the semifinals and Robertson beat Canyon’s Amber Kashay 6-1, 6-0 to get to the finals.

In the consolation bracket, Christensen beat Kashay 7-5, 6-4 to secure third place.

In doubles action, Valencia’s Brenna Whelan and Sydney Thay won in the finals match 6-4, 6-3 against West Ranch’s Chase Eisenberg and Brooke Johnston.

Whelan and Thay have been teammates all season but decided to enter the Foothill League tournament as a doubles team on Friday. Both competed in singles up until that point.

“Towards the end of the season when we’re going to decide what we’re going to do, we thought maybe it would be fun to play doubles in a serious competition,” Whelan said.

“I think we complement each other well,” Whelan continued. “She kept me going today, she kept me energized. I felt good playing with her and she kept me going, so it was really fun and I’m lucky I got her as a partner.”

Thay, a freshman, is grateful to play with Whelan, a senior, because of the experience she has and the knowledge she can pass down. She sees it as a benefit as they head into playoffs, but said the main goal for the league finals was simple:

“We were trying to have fun, trying to be as consistent as how we played the first day,” Thay said. “Not be as nervous, just relax and go as far as we could through this.”

MORE: Vikings, Wildcats dominate doubles in Foothill League girls tennis prelims

For third place in the Foothill League, West Ranch’s Shaira Busnawi and Angelina Cuiffo beat Valencia’s Ashley Villarta and Sydney Tamondong 6-2, 2-6, 10-6.

The top three teams — West Ranch, Valencia and Hart — move on to CIF-Southern Section team playoffs, with wild card matches beginning on Nov. 5. Team brackets will be released on Nov. 4 at 11 a.m.

The champion and the runner-up in singles and doubles will continue to the CIF-SS individual playoffs, which begin with sectionals on Nov. 25.

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