|High Desert Tennis Association|
CIF girls tennis preview
D'backs try to continue dominance
The Serrano girls tennis team has been a force to be reckoned with in the High Desert this season.
After losing to Los Osos in the first match of the Etiwanda Tournament to open their season, the Diamondbacks have cruised through their competition winning the remaining 17 matches and grabbing their third straight Mojave River League title.
And Serrano (17-1) looks to continue its dominance on Thursday at 2 p.m. when they host Centennial/Corona (8-12) in the first round of the CIFSouthern Section Division III playoffs, which along with all the other brackets were announced on Monday.
The Diamondbacks are led by MRL singles champion Lauren Tarver and the No. 1 doubles team of Mindy DeYoung and Vanessa Garcia, who took second at the league finals after an undefeated MRL campaign. But the strength of the team has been its depth.
"We're balanced,” Serrano coach Alex Quick said. “Yeah our No. 1 single and doubles are good, but everyone pulls their own weight."
If Serrano were to win, it would likely play Rio Hondo League champion South Pasadena on Saturday and possibly the No. 2 seeded Wilson/Long Beach in the quarterfinals next Tuesday.
"Our only goal was to go 8-0 (in the MRL) and we accomplished that,” Quick said.
"The girls are really pumped up and think they can go pretty far. Being 8-0 gives them a little more confidence."
Another team hosting a firstround match on Thursday is Desert Sky League champion Granite Hills. The Cougars look to advance to the second round round for the fourth straight year when they hosts Desert, the High Desert League’s second-place finisher, in the Div. V bracket.
Earlier in the season, the Cougars knocked off Mammoth, the HDL’s champion, 14-4.
If Granite Hills (14-5) wins that match, it may have a difficult time going much further. More than likely, the Cougars will have a date with No. 2 seeded Aquinas (18-1) on Saturday which knocked them off in the second round last year, 15-3, and eventually advanced to the section championship.
"We would like to win at least one and let the girls have fun,” Granite Hills coach Pat Jenkins said.
Each of the last two second round opponents for Granite Hills played in the championship match.
In another first-round match, the MRL’s No. 2 Sultana (10-5) travels to Wilson/ Hacienda Heights (14-2), the Miramonte League champion, on Thursday.