Highline tennis caps off successful road trip
By Calvin Domingo - Staff Reporter
The Highline tennis team recently traveled to California and emerged victorious in two out of three matches.
"The California trip was an early season highlight. Differ- ent regions in the U.S. really produce different styles of play. The teams we faced were more used to the elements and play- ing outdoors, but we adjusted well," Head Coach Laura Rosa said.
Back in action for the Lady T-Birds was sophomore Miriam Cabrera.
"It is certainly great to have Miriam back and healthy. She is a spark plug for this group. The unexpected blessing from her absence was the rest of the team stepped up bigtime," Coach Rosa said.
In the first of three matches played in the Golden State, the Thunderbirds got off to a strong start thanks to a 7-2 victory against Southwestern.
In singles action, Lady 'Bird Lexi Maison came out victori- ous against Susana Espinosa, 6-3, 6-1.
However, team captain Dan- ielle Mendoza, fell to her oppo- nent I. Valentos, 6-1, 6-0.
Highline freshman Mikyla Olsen defeated Sabrina San Vi- cente 6-1, 6-1 while Samantha Ruiz of Southwestern won by default.
T-Bird Kaylin Phan took care of her opponent Paula Navarro, 6-2, 7-6(7-4) while teammate Nikelle Price wrapped up sin- gles matches with a 6-1, 6-0 de- feat of Kareli Lopez.
As for doubles, Maison and Mendoza defeated the tandem of Espinosa and Valentos, 8-6.
The duo of Cabrera and Ol- sen dominated San Vicente and Navarro with a final score of 8-2, while teammates Phan and Price capped off doubles action with a 9-7 victory against Ruiz and Martinez.
On March 25, the Lady 'Birds defeated Grossmont College, 6-3.
"We learned that when you have to face a team that is way better than you, you learn more from that certain match rath- er than playing a team that is just average. That's why we came out and played one of our best matches as a team against Grossmont College," Maison said.
In singles matches, Maison, Olsen, Cabrera, and Phan all took victories against their re- spective opponents.
In doubles matches, the pair of Maison and Mendoza defeat- ed the duo of K Jasso-A. Frank- lin, 8-6.
Teammates Cabrera and Ol- sen also triumphed over their opponents, J. Kan-A. and Lin- quist to the tune of 8-3.
However, the tandem of Phan and Price fell to N. Cordo- va-H. and Bodke, 8-6.
In their final match in South- ern California, Highline fell at the hands of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 8-0.
Although the score would indicate a rather poor perfor- mance from the Lady Thunder- birds, Coach Rosa doesn't see it from that perspective.
"MIT is currently ranked No. 9 in the nation among NCAA D3 schools. To put it in per- spective, their roster strength is equivalent to the top D2 and better D1 programs in the country," Coach Rosa said.
"We lost, but magic hap- pened. We won points and then began to believe. Those points became games. We stood tall and competed with one of the best teams- in the nation. If you understand sports at all, you will know what a huge accom- plishment this was for Highline Tennis," Coach Rosa added.
In singles matches, the highest amount of points any T-Birds were able to muster was two, where freshman Kaylin Phan was defeated by A. Teng of MIT, 6-1, 6-2.
"The reality in tennis, and really all sports, is that you have to play teams better than
yourselves in order to improve. We have the toughest sched- ule in the conference and the hope is that [it] translates to our improvement rate being both quick and steady," Coach Rosa said.
The Lady Thunderbirds will be back in action tomorrow as they host Spokane at 8 p.m. at the Boeing Employee Tennis CenterinKent.
"The match this Friday is going to be a good one. [Coach] Laura has been laying it on us at practice this week. I think if we all just keep playing our game and stay focused, then we could beat Spokane, hands down," Lexi Maison said.
"This weekend, we have Spo- kane who is also hungry for a title and definitely pushes us to compete," the coach said.
Following the match-up against Spokane, the Highline tennis team will take on Trea- sure Valley as they travel to On- tario, Ore on Saturday, April 13 at noon.