Cabrillo’s doubles teams have kept the Conquistadores in the race for the girls tennis Los Padres League title.
With eight of nine victories on the doubles end, the Conqs defeated Santa Ynez at home 12-6 at Vandenberg Village on Thursday in a contest that ended at approximately 6:45 p.m. – with the sun falling behind the hills.
The victory elevated Cabrillo’s record to 12-1-1 overall and 10-1 in LPL matches, trailing only Orcutt Academy in the league standings.
The Conqs’ No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams swept their competition. Karly Kovach and Alyssa Murray won their sets 6-2, 6-1 and 6-3 while the No. 3 team of Karley Atkin and Paris Wynne won all three matches by scores of 7-6, 6-2 and 6-2. Cabrillo’s No. 2 doubles unit of Madison Sikes and Kamolwan Upachit took two of three matches – losing to Santa Ynez’s No. 1 team of Lexi Hemming and Lauren Lauren Thorburn 2-6 but winning their next two sets 6-4 and 6-1.
Head coach David Riley, in his first season with the girls program, has been impressed with the play of his three doubles teams.
“The doubles are starting to come together,” Riley said. “We’re finally starting to play how we want to play. The girls have bought into our system and they’re really starting to go outside of the box and do some good things. Winning eight of nine sets on the doubles side is really cool and a great way to keep us in the league run.”
While the Conqs have gained their footing on the doubles end, Santa Ynez’s doubles side has struggled with finding consistency, says head coach Jen Rasmussen.
“We knew our singles would give us some points. But we’ve had a hard time getting our doubles to be consistent and trust our shots. They (Cabrillo) out-played us today,” Rasmussen said.
The Pirates gained a boost with Nikki Bastanchury in the lineup. The No. 1 option wasn’t in the lineup during the last meeting with CHS due to an illness, but defeated the Conqs’ No. 2 player Shelby Wuitschick 6-1 and No. 3 option Clancy Turner 6-3. Santa Ynez’s No. 2 player Claire Collison also defeated Cabrillo’s No. 2 and 3 players by a score of 6-0.
But as the sun started to fade into the background, Cabrillo’s doubles emerged as the main catalyst once again. The only loss came from CHS’s No. 2 team of Sikes and Upachit which was to the Pirates’ top doubles team. The final contest saw Atkin and Wynne in a climatic duel with Thornburn and Hemming, won by the CHS duo 7-6. Riley wasn’t surprised to see Santa Ynez battle in every set.
“They’re genuinely a solid team and very well coached,” Riley said.
With three games left in the regular season, Riley doesn’t want his girls to focus just solely on moving past the Spartans, especially with Lompoc on deck for Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Vandenberg Village.
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time,” Riley said. “We have Lompoc on Tuesday, which is always a fun match and we can’t overlook them. We have to beat them then Orcutt and Templeton and hope we get a piece of that co-league title.”
As for the now 6-11 Pirates, who are now 6-4 in the LPL, Rasmussen prefers to just see her team finish the year on a high note.
“I want to see us strong. I just want to see the kids go out and be happy with their performance,” Rasmussen said.
The Pirates will host the LPL leading Spartans on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.