Girls’ tennis CIF hopes thwarted by Santiago High School in second round


Lauren Kaller

On the windy day of Nov. 2, 2022 girls’ tennis faced off against Simi Valley High School at Ventura College in their first round of CIF playoffs. Julia Geib ‘25 and Lola Tennison ‘24 are introduced to the players in their first match of the day, high-fiving them with tennis rackets and wishing them luck in the game to come. Players from both teams, wrapped in jackets to stay warm, show their support by clapping and cheering on their teammates.

Sam Noah and Chance Leandro

A massively successful season for the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls’ tennis team was abruptly ended on Friday, Nov. 4 with a loss to Santiago High School (Santiago) in the second round of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) competition. 

On the road into CIF play, the girls encountered little resistance. An undefeated league season was capped off by a 16-2 Senior Night drubbing of Laguna Blanca School on Oct. 20. Seniors Anna Nelles and Camille Bisgard were celebrated by friends, family and teammates before the final matchup of the regular season. 

Nelles expressed her gratitude for her team after Senior Night, saying, “What I’ll miss most about the team is genuinely just the team. I think I got so lucky to be on the girls’ tennis team at Foothill. They’re all the best.” 

On an individual level, the team saw success on the backs of their number one doubles team, Julia Geib ‘25 and Lola Tennison ‘24. The pair secured the Tri-Valley League championship in doubles play at Cate School on Oct. 27.

Fall break afforded the girls a week of rest before the opening round of CIF competition, when they hosted Simi Valley High School on Nov. 2. The rest proved to be effective, as by the end of the match the Dragons found themselves up 13-5, ensuring the continuation of their magical season.

Several Dragons contributed amazing individual performances to lead the team to such a dominant playoff win. The stalwart singles trio of Kira Branson ‘24 and twins Anna and Frances English ‘24 led with nearly flawless singles sets, which was a common occurrence throughout the year.

The championship duo of Tennison and Geib played similarly well, sweeping all three of their sets. After the match Tennison commented on conditions, saying, “The wind was not helpful but I feel like we kind of used it to our advantage.” 

Just two days later on Nov. 7, the match against the Santiago Sharks also ended with a score of 13-5, but this time the Dragons found themselves on the losing end. Their strong singles play wavered in comparison to their usual dominance, winning five of their nine combined sets for a slight majority. Doubles play, on the other hand, proved disastrous for the Dragons, as Santiago marched to victory in all nine sets. . 

The disappointing finish to a season of victories left the Dragons short of their CIF dreams, but they will return all three of their singles players and both players from their league champion doubles team for the 2023 season. 

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