There were no tricks, just treats for the Atascadero girls tennis team in Tuesday’s opening round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
The Greyhounds cruised to a 12-6 victory at Santa Ynez in the Division 3 wild card round.
“We had competitive games against them on every court in every round,” said Santa Ynez coach Jennifer Rasmussen. “The girls came together as a team, they played their best and I’m very proud of them.”
It was fitting that these teams had a date on Halloween — the Pirates’ school colors are Halloween’s traditional orange and black while the Hounds come close with orange and grey.
It was a matchup of No. 3 teams — Atascadero (10-4 PAC 8) is the No. 3 team out of the PAC 8 League while Santa Ynez (9-5 LPL) was the No. 3 team from the Los Padres League.
Atascadero was in control throughout, leading 5-1 after the first round and 9-3 after the second.
When the Greyhounds’ Anneline Breytenbach topped the Pirates’ Nikki Bastanchury 6-1 to complete the first set of the final round, Atascadero clinched a date to play at San Gabriel Valley League champion Downey Warren (11-5) Wednesday.
The Breytenbach sisters, No. 1 Nicoline and No. 2 Anneline, led Atascadero to a 7-2 edge in singles.
Nicoline dropped just one game, sweeping her sets 6-0, 6-0, 6-1, while Anneline nearly matched that, winning 6-0, 6-1, 6-2.
“Nicoline is one of the top three singles players in the (PAC 8) league and her sister Anneline is also one of the top singles players, so we’re fortunate to have them,” said Atascadero coach Lori Bickel.
The Hounds’ Camille Redberg picked up the final singles point with a 6-2 win over Santa Ynez’s Alexa Yacoub.
“I think Camille kind of surprised herself a little bit when she won that set,” said Bickel of her No. 3 singles player. “But you need to win 10 sets to win the match and her win really helped.”
For the Pirates, Bastanchury and Nikole Geauque each picked up a set win over Redberg; Bastanchury winning 6-1 and Geauque earning a 6-3 win.
It was closer in doubles, with the Greyhounds gaining a 5-4 edge.
The Pirates’ Ella Quinney and Vanessa Sparkes picked up one of those points with a 6-1 win.
Tristan Bunderson and Mikayla Palmer grabbed a 6-2 win.
Lauren Thornburg and Claire Hemming won the closest set of the day, defeating Atascadero’s Haley Long and Samantha Hoffman 7-6 (7-2) in a tiebreaker.
And subbing for Thornburg and Hemming, McKenna Olsen and Clara Newton defeated the Hounds’ Micaela Sanchez and Ariana Ramirez 7-5 in the final set of the match, ending the playoff loss on a happy Halloween note.
“I was happy to see that all my seniors were able to play — Nikki, Vanessa, Mikayla, Emberly Johnston and Sophie Monterrosa,” said Rasmussen. “Our girls tried their best, that’s all we ask, but we ran into a better team today so congratulations to Atascadero.
The Greyhounds left for Downey immediately after the match. They’ll spend the night in a hotel before heading over to Warren’s courts.
“Whenever we go into Southern California, we know we’re in for a tough match,” said Bickel. “They’ve got some good players but we do, too.”
After the teams exchanged handshakes, the Pirates gathered together to send the victors off to Downey with a hearty cheer of “Good Luck Greyhounds.”
Hancock 1, Santa Monica 1
The Hancock College Bulldogs had to settle for a tie in a Western State Conference match at Santa Monica.
The Corsairs led 1-0 at halftime before the Bulldogs’ tied the game with a Francisco Ayala goal off a Miguel Gomez assist in the 55th minute of the second half.
“Santa Monica outplayed us in the first half,” said Hancock coach Billy Vinnedge in a telephone interview after the game. “In the second half, we took over the game but we just couldn’t put one in the back of the net. We did everything we could to win. It just didn’t happen.”
Hancock (10-6-3, 2-4-1 WSC) hosts Moorpark on Friday.
“We have three more games left in the regular season,” said Vinnedge. “We’re still in the playoff hunt. Hopefully we’ll play well enough to get in.”