Tennis team earns respect in defeat

first_img “We knew nothing about them, which is almost more frightening because you go in totally blind,” said Virginia-bound Austin Hansen, who, along with her sophomore sister, Logan, swept her three sets for the Eagles. “They have great talent on their team and a great fighting spirit. You could tell they wanted it badly.” Even after the Hansen sisters, and the doubles team of Kellen Albertstone and Amelia Rose, won their sets in the final round to give Brentwood a 9-6 advantage, Valencia never stopped competing. Alexa Strange and Lehren MacKay won in doubles, followed by Michelle Stock’s victory in singles to pull the Vikings to 9-8. Eisler and Horii were tied at 4-4 in the final set, before Burnett and Thorne put the exclamation mark on the victory, one Brentwood had to fight for every step of the way. “No one expected us to be here, but we proved everybody wrong,” said senior Cassie Strange, who, along with twin sister, Alexa, contributed to 55 victories in their three years at Valencia. “We accomplished a lot this season. We knew we were right there with them, but came up a little short. But we don’t have any regrets.” Valencia coach Annie Kellogg was proud that all nine of her players won at least one set. “Nobody swept and nobody got swept,” said Kellogg, whose team recorded a program-record 21 victories, including a 14-match winning streak that ended Monday. “Everyone contributed. That’s the way it’s been all year.” The Eagles left The Claremont Club with their sixth Southern Section title in 16 years, including their second Division III crown in the past four seasons. But the applause Valencia received as they exited the court Monday wasn’t just from their parents and coaches, but Brentwood’s as well. “We earned their respect and showed that we did deserve to be here,” Cassie Strange said. “My girls deserve everything they’ve gotten.” Erik Boal, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CLAREMONT – They walked off the courts to an applause usually reserved for a champion. They clutched their team plaque as if it was gold instead of silver. And they were commended by their opponent as if they were the toughest competition they had faced all season. The tears on the faces of the members of the Valencia High girls’ tennis team indicated the second-seeded Vikings had fallen just short of their goal of winning a Southern Section Division III title, losing to top-seeded Brentwood 10-8. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals But Valencia (21-3) didn’t leave The Claremont Club without earning a major victory in their season-long battle for respect. “People thought we were going to be massacred out there. But we fought for every point,” said Kristin Anderson, one of Valencia’s six seniors, who was instrumental in the Vikings reaching the division final for the first time after semifinal losses the past two seasons. “I take a lot of satisfaction in what we accomplished. Especially when they started to count up games. You could tell they were a little worried.” Even before Brentwood’s Corey Burnett and Beth Thorne closed out the match with a 6-4 victory over Carissa Eisler and Alessandra Horii, the Eagles had accumulated enough games to win the title had the match ended in a 9-9 tie. That was about the only time during the three-hour match that Brentwood (17-4) could breathe easy, as Valencia split the first six sets – with the teams tied at 24 games – and remained tied at 6-6 entering the final round, with the Eagles holding a slim 52-49 advantage. last_img read more

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