By Snehal Shinh
PLACENTIA, CA – From May 6th and May 7th, the members of Valencia’s Girls Tennis team participated in Empire League Preliminaries and Finals respectively. Both events took place at the Seal Beach Tennis Center hosting competitors from Cypress High School, Pacifica High School, Crean Lutheran High School, and Kennedy High School. Each school sent three singles players and three doubles teams to compete in the tournament. Participating for Valencia were Grace Lee (12), Inso Park(11), and Eileen Kwon (10) for the singles games and Averi Chen (11) and Erin Yi (12), Camille Ives (10) and Halie Sung (12), and Allison Chan (11) and Fernanda Mata (11) for doubles.
To qualify for the League Finals, the members on each team would have to be a varsity starter. For those unfamiliar, League Finals, like many tennis tournaments, consists of eight seeds. A seed, also referred to as seeding, is the arrangement of players based on their wins for the League season, as defined by TennisPredict in “How Does Seeding Work in Tennis”.
The Valencia’s Girls Tennis Team was able to make it through Empire League Preliminaries (May 6th), to continue onto Empire League Finals. Inso Park (11) place third, Grace Le (12) followed in fourth place for singles, and Camille Ives (10) and Halie Sung (12) placed fourth for doubles.
“During individual league finals, though I somewhat expected at least one of us to win because we’d taken the first seed for both singles and doubles, the other team ended up playing much better than we expected, so we took third and fourth place in the end.” Halie Sung comments, sharing,“I was extremely proud of all of us since that meant we were league champions, but I was also proud because it showed that all the hours we’d spent practicing really paid off.”
This sense of pride was equally matched by Albert Lai, the Girls Tennis coach, “The girls have exceeded all expectations that we had this year. It was a complete success as we were finally able to beat Cypress, our arch-rival in our league.” Lai also shares how hard the team had been practicing since the return to school, having two sessions a week. It is clear to see that their hard work was not in vain.
While Valencia was not able to qualify for California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) individuals which consists of singles and doubles, the team was able to qualify for CIF as a team. The first match was a clutch match, a nine to nine tie that resulted in a tie-breaker to determine the winner. The next two games allowed the team to make it to the semi finals, where eventually they would drop out, thus concluding the five month season for Girls Tennis.