Valencia girls tennis picks up win against Saugus

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With just two matches remaining in the Foothill League girls tennis schedule, Saugus and Valencia met up one last time for one last hard-fought battle at Valencia on Tuesday. 

Trying to play a little more aggressive, the Vikings won on the singles and doubles sides 8-1 for a 16-2 victory over Saugus.

Valencia’s No. 1 singles player Brenna Whelan set the tone by beating Saugus’ No. 1 singles player Emily Christenson 6-0. She repeated the performance against the Cents’ No. 3 singles player Natalie Ratzlaff and dropped her only point of the day against Saugus’ No. 2 Maddie Wiseman.

“She practices a lot either with Valencia or with her private coaches,” said Valencia head coach Jackson Boxall about Whelan’s play. “I’m extremely proud of how she played and I’m sad that this was her last Foothill League home game with us.”

Wiseman played Vikings No. 2 singles player Sydney Thay tough but fell 6-3. Thay went onto win the other two matches 6-0 and 6-1.

Saugus’ No. 3 singles player Natalie Ratzlaff was the only Centurions singles player to notch a win on the day defeating Mia Gutarman 6-1.

Valencia No. 1 doubles team, Ashley Villarta and Sydney Tamondong laid down the foundation to three wins, defeating Alyssa Alvidrez and Katie Denzin 6-1 and closed out the day with a 6-4 and a 6-0 win in the second and third sets, respectively.

“The communication was great,” Boxall said. “They talked to each other each point about what play they were hoping to do next and I think that really helped them to construct the points in the way that they wanted to construct them.”

Tiffany Recalde and Jonam Welinkar, the Vikings No. 2 doubles team also swept their three sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. Saugus’ No. 2 doubles team of Abby Bolks and Emily Belcher gave them a run for their money, losing 6-3.

“I feel we played doubles really strong,” Boxall said. “Saugus has some really tough doubles teams with Abbie and Emily and Allyssa and Katie and all the other girls. They have a really good strategy; they really cover the net well and they have really good shots. I think when we went out there we said that we were going to be a little bit more aggressive and I think that’s what got us the wins on that side.”

Both schools are back in action on Thursday to close out the regular season as Saugus hosts Golden Valley and Valencia travels to West Ranch. Both games begin at 3 p.m.

“We are going to see a lot of girls that are hungry,” Boxall said about the final Foothill League match. “They are really working hard, they really want it bad and they will play their hearts, I can tell you that for sure.”

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