Surrounded by parents and Halloween decorations, the Foothill girls’ tennis team huddled in the corridor between Ventura High School’s portable classrooms and tennis courts.
“The last time he counted it was 45-42,” Alyssa McClain ‘20 said, “but that was two games ago.”
Discussion continued about the score. The teams had tied 9-9 on sets, so the coaches counted each game individually to decide the victor. Eventually, head coach Brad McClain returned with the results: the score was 68-65 and Foothill won.
The nail-biter game on Oct. 31 advanced the Foothill team into the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division III playoffs. They will face the number one seed, Woodrow Wilson High School, on Nov. 2.
“We were heavy in our doubles and they were heavy in their singles,” coach McClain said.
To counteract, both teams put one of their singles players onto a doubles team to strengthen them. For Foothill, this meant Noelle Hayward ‘21 played with Clare Duganne ‘22 instead of by herself.
The two finished with set scores of 4-6, 6-1 and 6-0. The unusual pair ended up being the last on the courts, where they lost to Ventura’s number one team. However, they were able to win four of the games, which ended up being crucial to the team’s win.
Foothill’s number one doubles pair, McClain and Jolie Seemayer ‘21 swept their sets, with scores of 6-2, 6-0 and 6-1.
Foothill’s number three doubles team won two of three, with scores of 4-6, 6-2 and 6-4.
On the singles side, Erin Gaynor ‘19 lost two sets and won one, with scores of 1-6, 4-6 and 6-0.
Olga Qoshlli ‘20 finished with scores of 0-6, 0-6, and 6-1.
Isabella Silva ‘22, who filled in for Hayward, finished with scores of 0-6 and 1-6. Ruby Beckendorf ‘21 was substituted for Silva against Ventura’s number one and lost 0-6.
Coach McClain was proud of his team’s performance, and says this game proves that “every game counts,” he said.
He gave the team the next day off and wished them a happy Halloween, saying “enjoy yourselves tonight. Eat a Snickers for me.”
— FTHS Athletics (@fths_athletics) October 31, 2018