HANFORD — The West Yosemite League girls tennis season came to a close on Tuesday with the final match played between Hanford and Lemoore. Like in their first match, Lemoore took home the win, this time 9-0.
With the victory, Lemoore (15-4, 10-2 WYL) finishes in second place in the West Yosemite League, behind Redwood. Hanford (2-10, 2-10 WYL) finished in sixth.
“A lot of talent came out of this season,” Lemoore coach Carla Bow said. “This year we had excellent leadership that led to the girls really bonding and embracing what we taught them and how to succeed.”
Lemoore also finishes with back-to-back 10-win league seasons and will now get ready for Friday’s WYL championships at Mt. Whitney High School. The matches begin bright and early at 10 a.m.
For the Tigers, they’ll be taking Madison Kuntz, Lizeth Garcia, Aliana Cabuhat, Jennifer Paez, Jolene Simas and Lizbeth Flores.
Bow said she’s excited to see what Cabuhat and Paez can do as the No. 2 doubles team since they’re both sophomores.
“I’m just going to try my best and do the best I can … and be positive,” Kuntz said about Friday’s championships.
All the girls for Lemoore were pretty clean on the court today. No. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles players all won in straight sets. No. 3 singles player Lizbeth Flores was pushed to a tiebreaker, but she was able to pull it out 10-5.
The doubles teams had a good day as well, winning quickly 8-2, 8-1, 8-1.
“Overall, this season went pretty good, better than I expected honestly,” Garcia said. “The team really pulled it together and I’m really proud of them.”
The Bullpups on the other hand, are looking to build for next season. Coach Alex Ibarra understands his team is young and wants to continue improving. He only has two graduating seniors, so there should be plenty of returners.
“It was a good start to a season where we can build on what we’ve learned this season and move on to the next step … a higher level of play.” Ibarra said. “I know they want to get better and they’re going to get better. We’re going to open up that avenue to get them better.”
No. 3 singles player Emily Reinhart, a junior, will be one of the returners for Ibarra. She defeated Flores in the first set of her match 6-3 and lost 2-6 in the second set of her match before giving way to Flores in the tiebreaker.
“I was very energetic and I had a lot of energy and my hits were powerful,” Reinhart said. “The second set, I started getting really tired and I just lost my power.”
Reinhart along with Kaylee Bristol and McKennah Miller will represent Hanford on Friday at the WYL championships.
“I had a lot of fun,” Reinhart said, reflecting on her team’s season. “We played really hard and we definitely got better throughout the season. I’m really happy with our team and how we played.”