Two of Ramona High School's doubles teams advanced to the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Tennis Tournament 11-15. November at the Morley Field courts in San Diego. The tournament included three Ramona High School doubles teams and one Ramona singles player.
All four Ramona losses during the tournament were for opponents with a higher universal tennis rating (UTR) than the Bulldogs' nights. Each of the seven participating Ramona players has a UTR of 3.
The first two singles rounds were played on November 11. Ramona junior Kiera Duffy had a first-round match against Pilar Roncoroni of Southwest High School, who has a UTR of 4. Roncoroni removed Duffy in 6-2 and 6-1 sets.
"That match was a really good match," Duffy said. "I'm really glad I got to play somebody who was at the next level."
The top five singles players and the top five doubles teams in the Valley League Tournament 21-24. October at San Pasqual High School qualified for the CIF Tournament. Duffy was fourth in the singles section of the league, giving her a berth at the CIF Tournament for the second year in a row.
"It was an amazing experience and I'm really glad I got there," Duffy said.
"She definitely played better than last year," Ramona coach Troy Romero said. "She just played a really good game."
The first two rounds of the doubles were contested Nov. 12. Ramona's only defeat in the first round of doubles was when juniors Charlotte Boss and Emily McCrory lost a 6-2, 6-1 match to Steele Canyon partners Alivia Childs and Ashley Hoffman. Childs and Hoffman both have a UTR of 4, and they were the leading doubles team in the Grossmont Hills League Tournament.
"I'm really pleased with our performance today because we showed that we could compete with really good players," McCrory said. "We went out and gave it our all and played our best."
"I got to play really good people," Boss said. "I'm glad we got points for girls who were really good."
Boss and McCrory placed third in the Valley League doubles tournament to reach the CIF competition. “It was a really good experience. It took a lot to get here, ”Boss said.
Boss and McCrory intend to use this year's CIF experience for their 2020 seasons. "It gives us motivation," McCrory said.
"It can prepare us for the potential of what we can end up playing, especially if we continue to play tennis beyond that," Boss said.
Ramona's two seniors in the CIF Tournament, Sidney Din and Cambria Jeffers, first faced Horizon Prep Nets Nicole Easum and Sara Melby, who both have a UTR of 1. Din and Jeffers advanced with a 6-0, 6-0 record. victory.
“We definitely wanted it a lot. We knew what we had to do, ”Din said. "We were just working on what we saw."
CIF has both a team tournament and an individual tournament. Ramona reached the semi-finals of the Division III playoffs and opened the game after the season with a 13-5 win over Horizon Prep. Din and Jeffers defeated Easum and Melby in one of the playoffs.
"They kind of knew what they were getting into. I think it helped, "Romero said.
“We were lucky with our draw. I think they are a good team, but I think we played very well. We just played our game, ”Jeffers said.
"Their online games were dominant," Romero said. "They were determined to win and finish their career strong."
Unless they won the championship, Din and Jeffers would end the tournament with a loss, and that happened in the second round. Rancho Bernardo players Ashley Nguyen and Yazmin Pakzad each have a UTR of 6. Their 6-1, 6-0 win against Din and Jeffers was their second of three wins that allowed them to reach the 16 round.
“They were really good. We tried our best, but there is no stopping them, ”Din said.
“They were extremely good. We were glad we got a game out of them, ”Jeffers said. “It's really cool that we got this far. It's a big business. "
"They played a very good team, but they got a game," Romero said of Din and Jeffers. "It's a great way to end their high school career."
"It was just pretty cool to be able to be there," Din said. "We just worked well together and I think that's why we got as far as we did."
Din and Jeffers lost the Valley League game in third place against Boss and McCrory, thus placing fourth in the league tournament. Ryan Din and Michaela Pierce, also both juniors, defeated Boss and McCrory in the league semi-finals before settling for second place after a loss in the championship game.
Ryan Din and Pierce began the CIF Tournament by defeating the Mar Vista tandem of Damiana Young and Brenda Zapien, who both have a UTR of 1. The score was 6-1, 6-2.
"My first year at varsity, it was fun to get past the first round," Din said.
Nandhini Ekambaram and Michelle Kartsub of Sage Creek both have a UTR of 4. They won 6-0 and 6-2 sets against Din and Pierce.
"I thought it was a good match," Din said.
"It was a great experience and I learned a lot this year," Pierce said. "Losing the second round helped me learn what to focus on and what I can fix to improve next year."
Din and Pierce were both first-year varsity players. "Their progress has been excellent," Romero said. "I think they have to be really proud of themselves."