In a showdown between two of the more successful programs in the San Gabriel Valley in recent years, this was a match pitting two perennial league champions. The Lady Aztecs have won the Almont League title every season since 2010, while the Lady Minutemen have won 7 of the last 8 Olympic League titles.
Maranatha shook off a sluggish start, barely pulling ahead in the first round, 4-2. Were it not for #3 singles, Audrey Loh’s, shocking 6-1 win over Keppel’s very capable #3, as well as yet another come from behind 7-6 (3) win from #2 doubles, Georgia Wilder/Amanda Yee (their 4th), MHS could have easily found themselves down 2-4 after the first round.
The Lady Minutemen started playing better in the second round, posting a stronger 4-2 score, with the #1’s Maddie Kane and Michael Wilkins/Aria Haver-Hill continuing their dominance, 6-0 and 6-2, Wilder/Yee winning 6-2, and #2 Malena Smith winning her first set of the day, a hard fought 6-4 win against the #3.
By the third round, MHS was finally on all cylinders, playing more aggressively and confidently, and going 5-1. #3 doubles, Bethany Ang/Stella Hsieh, who had been really off their game in the first two rounds (1-6, 0-6), stepped up and were determined to play harder and better. That they did, winning 6-1 against a subbed-in Keppel team.
Kane (6-1, 6-0, 6-0) swept despite feeling under the weather, as did Wilkins/Haver-Hill (6-1, 6-2, 6-4) and Wilder/Yee [6-2, 7-6(3), 6-2].
The Lady Minutemen (4-1) are on the road on Thursday, 9/19, to face league opponents, Valley Christian (6-4).
(photo courtesy of George Ang)