Another stellar season of girls’ tennis has officially come to an end for the local Foothill League teams.
Valencia was dominant yet again but every team showcased elite talent and strong play throughout the year, displaying the growth of the sport in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Valencia finishes perfect again
The Vikings’ perfect season in league play was showcased in the all-Valencia Foothill League finals. The team couldn’t further its push into the postseason but had tons of great accomplishments in league.
Valencia doubles No. 1 Melissa Arakeylan and Alexis Kuncar won a great match 6-3, 6-1 in the first round before dropping their second-round matchup.
Singles No. 1 Syndey Thay reached the second round of Individual Regionals after a 6-1, 6-0 win in the opening round. No. 2 Skylar Brathwaite was knocked out in the first round after a hard-fought 6-2, 6-3 to San Marino’s Katie Hoang.
Brathwaite looks to be the favorite to take the Foothill League singles crown in 2023 and keep the title in Valencia.
West Ranch posts another strong season
The Wildcats had a deep team filled with talented players who will return in 2023.
West Ranch doubles No. 1 team of seniors Avry Bedrossian and Carmella Demarco also reached the Individual Regionals’ second round after a 6-1, 6-1 win in the opening round.
Senior Abigail Pak had a strong season as the Wildcats No. 1 singles player. Pak was the only player in the Foothill League to beat Valencia’s Brathwaite in league play. Her strong play was key for West Ranch’s success this year.
Singles standout Stephanie Douille finished a fantastic freshman season in her first year of varsity action. Douille should be a big threat for West Ranch’s singles as the sophomore No. 1 next season.
Saugus doubles shines until the end
The Centurions registered their third straight year as a playoff team. Saugus had standout players all over the roster but doubles shined bright throughout the year and in the team’s final match.
Saugus fell to Glen A. Wilson in the CIF Division 3 opening round, 11-7. All seven points came from the doubles’ side with the No. 1 team of Maddie Vianzon and Kelsie Lammens-Ross leading the way with 6-2, 6-2 and 6-1 wins.
Vianzon and Lammens-Ross will both return to the courts next season.
No. 2 doubles team Frankie Spadoni and Brooklyn Rappe also brought home three wins with scores of 6-3, 6-2 and 6-4. It was Rappe’s final tennis match for Saugus as she graduates alongside five Centurion teammates.
“This was a special group of girls and it’s emotional to think of losing so many of them this season,” said Saugus head coach Bailey Sindle. “But, I trust this team to continue to work hard, have fun, and set a great example for what high school tennis should be. I truly feel so fortunate to be a part of their journey.”
Hart finishes strong
Indians’ girls tennis had a lot to overcome after graduating a big senior class in 2022. Hart posted big wins all year long and played tight in just about every league match.
Singles players Bella Galoostian and Claire Richardi were sharp for the Indians. No. 1 doubles team Em Porter and Teagan Heinze also had fantastic years in doubles as the pair displayed strong chemistry with one another.
The Indians’ season wouldn’t end where they wanted after a postseason loss to Mayfield but head coach Allan Hardbarger was pleased by his team’s play and progression throughout the year.
“We had a very successful season this year and I’m proud of our girls,” said Hardbarger. “We graduated eight seniors last year, but the team rose to the challenge and made the playoffs. This is a very tight-knit group and it was always a joy coming to practice.”
Canyon building up young core
First-year head coach Dennis Yong led a talented Canyon team this season.
Cowboys No. 1 singles Dziyana Haiduk didn’t get the finish to the season she wanted but was a great competitor on the court. Sophomore Zoe Brown already plays like a top singles player and will likely move up to the No. 1 spot in her next two years at Canyon.
The team will also return talented athletes in singles player Nikhol De Jose and doubles team Nour Abobakr and Jennica Noche.
Canyon will have some great talent and depth heading into 2023.
Golden Valley bursts onto scene in 2022
The Grizzlies have some serious talent returning to the courts next season. Junior Charly Saltz put her name on the map with a third-place finish at league preliminaries. Saltz has a great all-around game and one more year to play for the Foothill League singles title.
No.2 singles Janice Jin will also return to Golden Valley for her senior year.
The team will graduate three seniors in Aleena Basil, Leila Lemus and Clara Jin but head coach Josh Stimac was proud of his team’s efforts this year.
“I’m very proud of the way that my girls competed this season,” said Stimac. “Everybody improved tremendously.”
Janice and Saltz will be a big one-two punch in 2023 Foothill League singles matches.
Castaic on the rise
The Coyotes notched their first varsity win this season with a victory over Canyon. Castaic also had a huge upset in the Foothill League preliminaries when doubles team Lindsey Nguegang and Fernanda Matias upset the much higher-seeded Hart’s Porter and Heinze.
Head coaches Robert Chew and Daniel Ahn may be losing key seniors in the school’s first graduating class but have the groundwork set up for the future of Castaic tennis.
The Coyotes will return their top singles players in Chrstine Lee and Kaitlyn Reimbold. Lee has the tools to compete with the rest of the Foothill League No. 1 players and will look to lead the Coyotes in 2023.