Serving up Success in a New League

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Photo by: Rhiannan Ruef

Makayla Byerly, junior, returns a lob from Simi Valley's team. Byerly and the Scorps went on to win the match.

The Cam High Girls Tennis Team started their inaugural season in the newly formed Coastal Canyon League on the right foot, winning 80-73 against Simi Valley in all their games.

The girls rallied from being down 7-9 in the third and final round of the match, to snatching a victory and starting their season 1-0. Since the transition from the Pacific View League, this is the first win for girls tennis in the new league and marks the commencement of new challenges and different opponents which accompany the change.

The starting lineup consisted of all grade levels; sophomores Danielle Kalcic and Tatiana Anderson rank as the top two in singles, and the duo of senior Sarah Downey and freshman Brittany Lavenant are the highest ranking doubles team. Kalcic swept 6-3, 6-0, 7-5, and in doubles, Downey and Lavenant swept, winning each set 6-1.

It was a tight match for the team, coming down to the last two sets. Cam High had to adjust to Simi Valley’s heavy use of lobs, which led to some long baseline rallies in the doubles and increased the difficulty of winning points at net in singles. However, the Scorpions obtained success through consistency and some aggressive shotmaking, as well as through effective overheads and volleys in the doubles.

“We were a little anxious and excited because it was our first match in the new league, but we were able to come out on top,” said Arielle Mendoza, junior.

Sophomore Michelle Liu said that she is excited for the challenges to come of the new league. “I’m looking forward to the new experience of playing different people, and a challenging, harder league,” Liu said.

The Coastal Canyon League pits Camarillo against Simi Valley, Royal, Oak Park, and Moorpark, in a reorganization that includes three former Marmonte League members, and one former Tri-Valley League member in Oak Park. Cam High, two year consecutive Pacific View League tennis champions, will face unfamiliar opposition this season.

“I was excited for new competition for the girls, and to see if we could pull off a new league win,” said girls tennis Coach Claudia Grafenstein.

According to Coach Grafenstein, there was no change in terms of preparation for the new league; the girls simply continued to work hard at cardio, footwork, and aggressive play. During the match, she said her players pulled together as a team and felt that they deserved the win. “If they can pull off what they did [Tuesday] and keep competitive spirit up, they will be just fine,” said Grafenstein.

The players are also excited for what lies ahead. “I was happy for our win and am looking forward to more great tennis and excellent teamwork,” said Mendoza.

The Scorps won their game on Thursday, October 2 as well and now hold a 2-0 record.