West Ranch Wildcats girls’ tennis made a statement on Tuesday, beating the previously unbeaten Valencia Vikings.
The Wildcats crashed Valencia’s senior day, winning the match, 12-6, with six points from each singles and doubles’ side.
West Ranch was led by its singles phenom Audrey Park, who started in the No. 3 spot on Tuesday. Park tore through her matches with a ton of poise and smoothly brought in three points against her former teammates at Valencia.
Park won her matches, 6-0, 6-2, 6-0, and has been a huge addition to coach Jackie Lange’s Wildcats since transferring over.
“Audrey has a great game and knows how to not let the little things or pressure get to her,” Lange wrote in an email. “She knows how to fight and she is resilient enough to stay focused. It must have been hard facing her former team, but she handled it with grace and was very stoic.”
Wildcats No. 1 singles Ava Siano also played well, and delivered 6-0 and 6-1 wins, only dropping her game with Valencia No. 1 Baylee Renfro.
Renfro gave Park a tough battle, losing 6-2, but won her other two matches 6-1 and 6-2.
West Ranch No. 1 doubles Stephanie Douille and Suprita Yeole also finished perfect on the day. The Wildcat duo were pushed into longer matches but brought in 6-3, 7-6 and 6-2 wins.
“Stephanie and Suprita work very well together,” Lange wrote. “They definitely complement each other well with their gameplay and personalities. They do a great job exploiting their opponents’ weaknesses while hiding their own.”
Lange’s No. 2 team Genesis Nochez and Audrey Kim also played well, winning two of their matches with scores of 6-2, 2-6 and 6-4.
Vikings No. 1 doubles Melissa Arakelyan and Nitya Kotha were bumped in their opening match with Douille and Yeole, but rebounded with a pair of 6-2 wins to finish the day.
Valencia No. 2 doubles Izzy Bronstein and Samara Wijesundera were pushed through marathon matches. The Vikings pair didn’t emerge with any victories but fought tremendously, dropping their matches 6-7, 2-6 and 6-7.
Valencia was without No. 1 singles player Skylar Brathwaite, who was out with an illness. Brathwaite brought in a key two points in her last match against West Ranch and will surely be a contender at league preliminaries in a few weeks.
Lange saw her team shake off its earlier loss to Valencia and display mental toughness on Tuesday.
“They evaluated their mistakes and were able to learn how to mentally prepare,” Lange wrote in an email. “My girls know my expectations and know what I am looking for. As long as they reach my standards, I am happy with how they play. I want them to focus on going out on the court to play and not be stressed about the score.”
Valencia is looking like it’ll bring home yet another Foothill League title and can seal it with wins over Canyon and/or Golden Valley.
The Vikings return to action on Tuesday for their regular-season finale at Golden Valley. West Ranch returns home Tuesday to host Hart.
“I want the girls to keep doing their thing,” Lange added. “I want them to stay focused, keep working, support each other, and keep their positive mentality. At the end of the day, tennis is a mental sport, and I have never seen a group of players improve mentally throughout the season as they have before.”
Both Tuesday Foothill League matches are slated for 3 p.m.