Turnabout is fair play and the Santa Ynez Pirates turned the tables on the Cabrillo Conquistadores Thursday afternoon in a Channel League girls tennis match at Santa Ynez High.
Despite three-set sweeps by the Conqs’ No. 1 single player Kayla Kling and No. 1 doubles team Paris Wynne and Alyssa Murray, Santa Ynez edged Cabrillo 10-8.
In their first Channel League meeting, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, the teams tied 9-9 with Cabrillo eking out the victory by winning more games, 76 to 75.
This time around, the teams were tied 3-3 after the first round and 6-6 after the second and everyone was saying “here we go again.”
Both teams were already counting the games and Santa Ynez held a 55-51 edge.
The teams were tied at 7-all after Santa Ynez’s No. 2 doubles, Jazz Feeley and Ella Quinney, topped Cabrillo’s No. 3 tandem Robyn Soh and Tori Gordon 6-0.
The Pirates No. 2 singles player Emmy Withrow then finished off a 6-0 win against Cabrillo’s No. 3 Rachel Carlos.
Santa Ynez No.1 singles Claire Collison then completed a 6-1 win over Cabrillo’s No. 2 Karly Kovach to put the Pirates up 9-7.
When Cabrillo’s No. 1 doubles team, Paris Wynne and Alyssa Murray took a 6-2 set from Santa Ynez’s No. 3 Mckenna Olsen and Lexi Hemming, Santa Ynez held a slim 9-8 lead and everyone — players, coaches, family and fans, moved over to watch the Pirates’ Curti twins, Sophia and Isabella, playing at No. 1, face off against the Conqs’ No. 2 ShelbyWuitschick and Katie Hunt.
Cabrillo’s duo held the lead throughout the set and everyone went back to the scoreboard, counting game to see who would win if the match ended in another 9-9 tie.
“We were counting game all the way, not just when the match was 3-3 and 6-6,” said Santa Ynez coach Jennifer Rasmussen.
The Santa Ynez side breathed a sigh of relief because their three big third round wins gave them the edge, 75-64.
But the Curti sisters ended the suspense, coming back from being down 4-5 — sweeping the next three games for a 7-5 comeback win.
“I was just going out for the win,” said Isabella Curti, the younger twin by one minute. “My sister and I had good communication out there today. We wanted to do our best to win the set and get another point for our team.”
Kling and Collison opened the afternoon with a back-and-forth battle that was fitting of No. 1 seeds.
Both players blasted strong serves throughout. The set featured long volley after long volley as it appeared each was waiting for the other to make a mistake.
The two held serve until, with Kling leading 4-3, Collison broke Kling’s serve and then held her own to move ahead 5-4.
But Kling held her next serve and broke Collison’s to pick up a 7-5 win.
“She was a really hard hitter. She really was on her game,” said Kling of Collison. “It was stressful, being down 4-5 but I just used my willpower to battle back and luckily I came through.”
Kling went 3-0 on the afternoon while Collison went on to win her final two sets.
Cabrillo’s No. 2 Karly Kovach fell 1-6 to Collison but rallied back to defeat Emmy Withrow and Alexa Yacoub as the Conqs won five of the nine singles sets.
“I played the best I could. I lost to their No. 1 in the third round but even though I won my other two sets, I think I played my best against their best player,” said the senior Kovach. “Since the league change (from Los Padres to Channel), it’s been a lot of tough matches. But it’s been fun playing with all the girls.”
In doubles, the Pirates dominated winning six of the nine sets.
While Wynne and Murray swept, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, it was all Santa Ynez the rest of the way.
The Curti sisters won 6-2, 7-5; Feeley and Quinney won 6-2, 6-0 and Olsen and Hemming picked up 6-3, 6-1 wins.
“It was an excellent match. It’s a good rivalry. Santa Ynez always has a solid tennis team,” said Cabrillo’s Athletic Director Dan Troup who is normally Cabrillo’s junior varsity girls tennis coach. Troup was filling in for varsity Chris Suchecki for the day. “I knew it was going to be close. Today was their day.”
“It’s nice to play teams like Cabrillo, teams that we’re even with,” said Rasmussen. “Even in a loss, it is good having some great competition. This really was a team win today.”
Cabrillo is back in action next Tuesday at Santa Barbara.
Santa Ynez is home Tuesday for its Senior Day battle against San Marcos when seniors Mckenna Olsen, Ella Quinney and Tristan Bunderson will be honored before the match.
Santa Barbara 3, Santa Ynez 0
The Santa Barbara Dons met the Santa Ynez Pirates for the third time this season in a winner-take-all match to determine which team would win third place in the Channel League and earn the league’s third and final automatic CIF Southern Section playoff bid.
Both teams finished the regular league season at 5-5, splitting their two matches — each winning on their home court.
Santa Barbara won Thursday night’s match in straight sets; 25-17, 28-26, 25-20.
“It was a hard fought match,” said Santa Ynez coach Tom Wright. “It came down to Santa Barbara making a big run at the end of the first and third sets.”
“It was a better result for us this time,” said Santa Barbara coach Ariana Garney. “Freshman Lily Singhass had a great night with nine kills. Junior Anabell Saesar added eight kills. And we served much better this time. I told the girls if we could serve tough, play tough defense and get Santa Ynez out of their rhythm, then we had a good chance of winning. This was definitely a high energy, intense match.”
“It was a well played match,” said Wright. “Both sides had to fight through adversity. They fought better than we did this time.”
“We’ll probably get a playoff game on the road against a top seed next week,” said Garney.
“We’re still alive for a possible wild card bid,” said Wright. “Now we have to wait to see if we can get an at-large bid.”
Santa Ynez 264, Lompoc 307
Santa Ynez had tri-medalists in its Channel League victory over Lompoc at La Purisima, Lompoc’s home course.
“Gracie Church, Erinn Callaghan and Morgan Blunt ¯ three of our top athletes — each shot a 52 in the nine hole match to tie for top honors,” said Santa Ynez coach Ashley Coehlo. “And all three are within one stroke of each other in their season averages. This was a perfect way to end our season on dual matches.”
Marina Vengel came close to matching her Santa Ynez teammates, finishing one stroke off their pace with a 53. Olivia Cortopassi (55) rounded out the Pirates’ scoring.
Marina Zellers led the Lompoc Braves with a 54. Scoring teammates behind Zellers were Haley Harsh (59), Lizzie Hang (64), Hannah Larsh (65) and Raya Gonzalez (65).
Next up will be the Channel League Finals Monday and Tuesday at the Alisal Ranch course. There will be 28 girls competing Monday with the top 16 advancing to Tuesday’s final round. The top five from the two days will move on to CIF.