Orcutt Academy at Cabrillo came down to the final two doubles matches that would decide either a logjam between the Spartans and Conquistadores at the top of the Los Padres League, or if OAHS would clinch the outright title with a win.
Both doubles teams split the sets, tying the match at 9-9 – but it was the Spartans who erupted in joy afterwards, winning by games 71-65 on Thursday evening to secure the outright LPL girls tennis title.
After finishing the final tallies after the match, exuberance swept over the Spartans as “We won!” was shouted loud on the CHS tennis courts. Spartans head coach Art Lopez knew his team would be in for a battle against the second best team in the LPL.
“I knew it was going to be close. Cabrillo is a fantastic team and David Riley has done an outstanding job with these girls,” Lopez said.
Orcutt Academy’s No. 1 doubles team of Jana Andrade and Keona Pablo led the charge for the 2017-18 league champs, sweeping their three sets by scores of 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1. They were the only OAHS team to win all three of their matches.
Cabrillo, though, received its energy from the Conquistadores’ top singles ace all season long: Sierra Hohimer. The senior, who was slotted in the No. 3 spot for this contest, not only won all three sets by scores of 6-0, 6-0 and 6-2, but the latter score was against a traditional hurdle on her end: The Spartans’ Megan Vise.
After controlling the net and knocking off the talented No. 1 option Vise, an emotional Hohimer was consoled by her father. Cabrillo head coach David Riley watched from outside as Hohimer completed the win over Vise.
“Sierra is a beast. She just works really hard and Megan is also another great player as well. I know Sierra was a little upset with how she played versus Megan the last time. But Sierra was on today,” Riley said. “I’m just proud of how she played today.”
Outside of Hohimer, CHS’s No. 1 option on this day Katie Hunt was the only other Conquistador to obtain a set victory – beating Melani Amoraskera 6-2.
Amoraskera, however, was cited by Lopez as the instrumental piece in helping lift the Spartans to the league championship, as she went on to win 6-2 against Shelby Wuitchick.
“This team, this year, has been consistent on both sides but my key was my No. 3 singles Melani,” Lopez said. “She’s a freshman who’s in her first win of playing tennis – but she pulled out the big win in that last round which gave us a big difference.”
Despite losing to Hohimer, Vise won her other two sets by a score of 6-0.
Cabrillo’s top doubles team of Karly Kovach and Alyssa Murray went on to win two of three sets. The final one was a back-and-forth battle against Emma Valencia and Paige Wells, with the CHS duo winning 6-4.
Riley, who never coached the girls tennis team prior to this season, said he’s content with the fact that the game came down to the wire – with his top doubles team helping keep CHS in the contest.
“They made it 9-9 and I’m super proud of those girls. I can’t complain about anything. It was a great day,” Riley said. "They beat us twice. Congratulations to them, they’re a great team.”
Despite not winning the LPL title, Riley and his team decided to take the high road and shift their focus on closing out the season against Templeton, then move on to the CIF playoffs.
“We’ve got Templeton (on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.). Hopefully we’ll be the No. 2 seed heading into CIF and hope we get a CIF title – that would be a lot of fun,” Riley said.
As for Lopez and the Spartans, winning the LPL title is just one goal out of two they have set out.
“We have a goal this year: We want to go on and have a perfect season,” Lopez said.
Righetti 16, Pioneer Valley 2
The Righetti Warriors closed out their PAC 8 League regular season with a home victory over the Pioneer Valley Panthers.
“I mixed everyone up today,” said Righetti coach Jen Haskell. “I put my singles players into doubles, my doubles players into singles and got a couple subs some playing time.”
Pioneer Valley’s No. 1 singles player Czarlyn Camba won two of her three sets.
Righetti (4-8 PAC 8) posted wins in the rest with Lacey Snyder winning one set at No. 1 singles and Alex Valentine grabbing two set wins subbing in for Valentine.
Sisters Sarah and Haley Sousa each won two singles sets.
The Warriors swept all nine doubles sets behind the teams of Bridget Lee and Joslynn Ramirez; Lauren Zimmer and Adriane Hall; and Miranda Silva and Julia Wildrgren with Nerissa Arrelano subbing in for Wildegren in the final set.
Next up for all the PAC 8 teams is the league tournament next Wednesday and Thursday. Paso Robles will host the tournament but the location is still to be determined. It will either be at Paso Robles High School or on the new San Luis Obispo High School courts.
Santa Ynez 15, Santa Maria 3
Nikki Bastanchury lost two games in a three-set sweep at No. 1 singles as the Pirates (8-5 Los Padres League) rolled to an LPL win over Santa Maria at the Minami Center.
Claire Collison dropped one game in a three-set sweep for the Pirates. Santa Ynez tandems Ella Quinney and Vanessa Sparkes, and Tristan Bunderson and Mikayla Palmer each swept three sets. Clara Newton and Sofie Monterrosa won twice.
Alexa Yacoub earned a singles point for Santa Ynez. Karyme Calderon, Selina Perez, and the doubles team of Jackie Solano and Alicia Lopez each won a point for the Saints.
Nipomo 12, Templeton 6
The Titans beat the Eagles in a Los Padres League match. No other details were available.
Arroyo Grande 15, Atascadero 3
The Arroyo Grande Eagles celebrated senior day by wrapping up a perfect PAC 8 League season (14-0, 19-1 overall) with a win over the Greyhounds.
Eagles senior Erika Egg led the way with a perfect 6-0, 6-0 and 6-0 afternoon.
But the next generation of Eagles also contributed to the win – freshmen Maddy Ferreros and Peyton Dunkle each played and won two sets by 6-0, 6-1 scores.
“We got to use all 15 players today as we saluted our six seniors,” said Arroyo Grande coach Lori Hollister.
San Luis Obispo 18, St. Joseph 0
The Knights wrap up their PAC 8 League season with a 5-9 record after Thursday's loss.
St. Joseph coach Ray Cavazos commended the play of his No. 1 singles player Katelynn Haskell, who won the most games for the Knights.
“She competed and she really worked out there, the whole team did," Cavazos said.
The Knights will wrap up their season at the PAC 8 Individual Tournament next week.
"I think it’s where we expected to be this year. I’m losing two seniors and I have a lot of returners coming back next year," Cavazos said. "The girls have got some really good experience for us. We will know what we have to work with during the summer to get on the other teams' level."