Prep Girls Tennis: Win over Cougars breaks losing streak

A 12-6 victory Oct. 13 at Escondido High School broke a two-match losing streak for the Ramona High School girls tennis team and also gave the Bulldogs the eighth position in the CIF Division II power rankings.

The CIF team playoff selection and seeding meeting will take place today, and if the Bulldogs maintain the eighth seed the Riviera Oaks court in Ramona will host a first-round playoff match Oct.24 if that day’s weather allows.

San Pasqual, which handed Ramona the Bulldogs’ only loss during the first round of Valley League play, won the Oct. 6 rematch in Ramona by a 16-2 score. 

“They’ve got a lot of depth,” said Ramona coach Troy Romero.

Ramona, whose varsity roster has 12 players, had no depth against the Golden Eagles. Kaley Sapper was in Northern California for a three-day eventing equestrian competition (she placed 12th among more than 30 competitors), Jamie Roe participated with her club softball team in a tournament, and a sprained ankle kept Mylani Garduno off the court.

San Pasqual won all nine doubles sets. Renee Hogervorst defeated one of her singles opponents and Chelsea Boss had Ramona’s only other singles win.

Garduno did not play Oct. 11 when Ramona traveled to Valley Center. Each team won nine sets, which triggered the tiebreaker of games won. The Jaguars had an 85-76 advantage in that criteria and thus were the victors of the match.

“It was pretty exciting. Unfortunately we didn’t come out on top in the tiebreaker,” Romero said.

A pinched nerve in her shoulder kept Hogervorst out of Ramona’s match at Escondido and contributed to her defeats in the three sets at Valley Center. 

“She was fighting, but she couldn’t serve because she couldn’t lift her shoulder,” Romero said.

Valley Center’s top player, senior Brooke Clark, defeated Hogervorst in a 6-1 set. Hogervorst and sophomore Maddison Clark each won six games in their set to trigger a tiebreaker to 7 points. That game, as is the case with all other games, must be decided by at least 2 points. Clark took an 8-6 victory over Hogervorst in the tiebreaking game to win the set by a 7-6 margin. Valley Center freshman Isabel Stehly, who did not play in the first league match against Ramona, overcame Hogervorst’s 5-4 lead and obtained a 7-5 victory.

Toni Radeke also lost all three of her sets including a 7-5 contest against Maddison Clark. The only Ramona player to prevail in a singles set was Boss, who defeated Maddison Clark in a 6-1 contest.

The set between Hogervorst and Maddison Clark was the last to be completed. Ramona held a 9-8 lead at that point. 

“It was disappointing because all we needed was for Toni or Renee to beat Maddison,” Romero said.

The Bulldogs won eight of the nine doubles sets. 

“The doubles teams were just fantastic,” Romero said.

Roe and Sapper won their three sets, as did Ashley Cortez and Sarah Drown. Hannah Nowakowski and Halli Romero won two sets while losing a 3-6 competition, and one of their victories was by a 7-6 margin as the result of a 7-4 triumph in the tiebreaking game.

“The doubles teams just really played exceptional,” Troy Romero said. “Eight of nine, that’s great, including winning the tiebreaker. They played terrific.”

Ramona’s doubles players had a 53-34 edge in games over their Valley Center counterparts while the Jaguars’ singles players won 51 games to the Bulldogs’ 23.

The singles losses were an item of focus Oct. 12. 

“Wednesday’s practice was pretty intense,” Romero said.

An umbilical hernia has sidelined Jessica Nelson indefinitely, so she joined Hogervorst as unable to play at Escondido. Garduno returned to the court against the Cougars. 

“Mylani came back and did pretty darn good,” Romero said.

Romero used Boss as the No. 1 singles player, Radeke as the No. 2 singles competitor, and Garduno as the No. 3 singles netter. All three lost to Escondido’s No. 1 player but defeated their No. 2 and No. 3 counterparts. Roe and Sapper won all three of their doubles sets. Cortez and Drown lost a 7-5 set to Escondido’s No. 2 doubles team but defeated the No. 1 and No. 3 Cougars duos.

“Escondido got the wrath of our refocus,” Romero said. “The girls really came back strong, and that’s without Renee.”

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