The Orcutt Academy Spartans kept their Los Padres League girls tennis record prefect Thursday with a 14-4 victory over the Lompoc Braves on the Hancock College courts.
Even with one of their top singles players under the weather, Orcutt Academy (12-3, 9-0 LPL) had too much experience for a young Lompoc (4-5 LPL) squad.
“Megan Vise wasn’t feeling well and I had to juggle the lineup,” said Orcutt Academy coach Art Lopez. “But Megan said she was well enough to play doubles so I paired her up with Keona Pablo.”
“I’ve got a sore throat but I thought I could still play doubles,” said Vise. “Doubles is a little less stressful because you have a partner.”
In their three sets, Vise and Pablo dropped just one game, winning 6-0, 6-1, 6-0.
“I’ve wanted to play doubles with Megan for a long time and it was nice to get the chance,” said Pablo. “It was fun. It was a new experience. Kayla is a great partner.”
“The truth is Megan likes playing doubles more than she does singles. She played doubles her freshman year and she’s been asking me to let her play doubles for a while and I thought today was the perfect time to try it out,” said Lopez. “And hats off to Jana Andrade. I asked her if she’d like to replace Megan in singles today and she said ‘let’s do it’ and she really played well today.”
Well enough to go a perfect 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 2 singles spot.
Kayla Pablo, Keona’s sister, also swept her three sets at No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
Freshman Melani Amorasekara moved into the No. 3 singles spot and won one of her three sets.
“You can’t teach desire but Melani definitely has it,” said Lopez. “I put her in against Santa Ynez, she lost but she kept hustling. She really earned her spot in the lineup.”
“Melani has only been playing for a year but she’s really coming along, really improving and I’m happy about it,” said Orcutt Academy assistant coach James “Jimmy” Zepeda. “She’s going to be a really good player in years to come.”
The Spartans No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams won two sets apiece before being subbed out in their third sets.
At No. 2, Emma Valencia and Paige Wells won 6-2, 6-3 while at No. 3, Alexis Bettancourt and Hannah Kasai won their sets 6-4, 6-4.
Lompoc’s No. 1 singles player Anahi Reatiga picked up a 6-2 win and their No. 3 singles player Cheri Battle had a 6-1 win for two of the Braves four points.
“Cheri has been really consistent, she’s been improving all year,” said Lompoc coach Marjie Ledgerwood. “We’ve got some young players without the experience of teams like Orcutt Academy. But the girls are working hard and they keep improving.”
The Braves No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams also picked up a set apiece – No. 1 Trinity Stallworth and Nalani Terrones won one set 6-2 and No. 3 Leanne and Diane Alcantara picked up a 6-3 set win.
“They’re tough competition but it’s good to play against a tough opponent. We’ll only get better by playing better teams,” said Ledgerwood. “Today was a bit tough but the girls kept their heads in the game, they battled all the way.”
“Marjie is building up her program. I know they’ll come back strong,” said Lopez. “It was a good win for us today. Everybody got to play and I think they all played well.”
Lompoc hosts Templeton and Orcutt Academy hosts Santa Maria next Tuesday as the LPL season continues.