Tennis Rallies to CIF Individuals

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Tennis Rallies to CIF Individuals

Jack O'Connor, Staff Writer

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After an incredible season, the SJHHS girls’ tennis team manage to make it all the way to the second round of CIF. Although the team’s season was over, a couple players played in CIF individuals.

Three players have managed to make it to the second round of CIF individuals, and two of which were freshmen.

“There were two freshmen in CIF and that was really exciting for them because it was their first year on tennis and everyone got really excited to come watch them,” said Sophia Bak-Boychuk, a senior tennis player.

“The doubles team of Bailey Smolenski who’s a freshman and Avery Rylance who’s a junior won their first round and lost their second round” said Tim Dileo, coach of SJHHS’ girls tennis.

“Kaia Wolfe who’s a freshman for singles won both of her matches on the first day and automatically qualified for the round of 16, which is the top 16 players in the CIF Southern section. She lost 6-4, 6-1 to a very good player, which was her only loss on the season” said Dileo.

In order to compete both mentally and physically, the athletes had to be playing their best the whole tournament.

Their attitude in the beginning of the year was 100 percent different than their attitude at the end of the year. They really figured out how to be mentally tough on the court and learn how to support each other throughout the season and it really showed in the CIF individuals’ playoffs”

— Tim Dileo

As any good athlete can tell you it takes more than just physical skill to be successful. “Their attitude in the beginning of the year was 100 percent different than their attitude at the end of the year. They really figured out how to be mentally tough on the court and learn how to support each other throughout the season and it really showed in the CIF individuals’ playoffs” said Dileo.

“Other teams I feel like [were] just as strong and motivated since they made it into CIF to, so it’s more competitive,” said Kaia Wolfe, a freshman tennis player.

Kaia Wolfe is particularly noteworthy not only because she is a freshman and that she made it to CIF, but her record is outstanding. “Her record is something like 29-1 or something like that” said Dileo.

Even though the season was great, Coach Dileo is still thinking about the future of these gifted tennis players. “I would hope that Kaia still remains hungry and wants to go farther. And I would hope that Bailey and Avery might think of teaming up again or going into singles and trying it on that side of the draw” said Dileo.

Hopes, expectations, and attitudes for next year remain high for both the athletes and the team as a whole.

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