First published in the Oct. 1 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ tennis team cruised to a 14-4 Rio Hondo League victory against visiting South Pasadena (4-1 overall record, 2-0 in league) on Tuesday afternoon. Six Spartans earned sweeps en route to their second league victory of the season.
LCHS’ No. 1 singles player, Maya Urata, was immaculate, winning each of her sets, 6-0, against Tigers Talia Yoo, Kyra Campbell and Claire Chen. La Cañada’s No. 2 singles player, Maren Urata, won sets against the same opponents by scores of 6-0, 6-1 and 6-0, respectively. South Pasadena’s Campbell and Chen earned 6-1 and 6-3 wins, respectively, over La Cañada’s Nicole Sorensen.
“Maya and Maren are awesome,” said Will Moravec, LCHS’ head coach. “They come out here, they play their games, and it’s hard for anybody to try and keep up with them.”
Similar to the singles matches, the Spartans’ top two doubles teams earned sweeps. La Cañada’s No. 1 doubles team, Allison Woo and Riley Thornburgh, swept SPHS’s doubles teams — Stephanie Li and Katherine Tam, Sarah Chung and Charlie Kami-Duffin, and Isha Zafra and Annette Woo — by scores of 6-3, 6-1 and 6-3, respectively. LC’s No. 2 doubles team, Natalie Son and Sophia Razavi, also swept the same opponents by scores of 6-0, 6-4 and 6-2.
“You can always learn from your opponent, especially a good opponent,” said Krista Gale, SPHS head coach. “You can see the strategies that they use and kind of what’s working for them and how they manage to just be so effective. So that’s really helpful and does actually help our game long-term.”
South Pasadena’s No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams, Li and reserve Ava Feldman and Chung and Kami-Duffin, won one of three matches against La Cañada’s No. 3 doubles team, Amanda Grabel and Kylie Huang, by scores of 6-3 and 7-5, respectively.
“Our three doubles teams, they need to get battle-tested, and South Pas is really good; they have great doubles players,” Moravec said.