Strathmore beats Monache 5-4 with doubles wins

It came down to the final doubles match and neither Strathmore or Monache High School were wavering.

That is until the Spartans' girls tennis duo of Abby Miller and Neha Reddy stopped a two-game skid and won the next five games to beat the Marauders' Abigail Sotelo and Janessa Lathrop 8-4. The win delivered Div. IV Strathmore a 5-4 road victory over Div. II Monache Wednesday evening.

“It's a good start heading into the season,” SHS head coach Ryan McCusker said.

The Spartans are now 2-3 on the season with “competitive losses”, as McCusker puts it, to a couple East Yosemite League teams which includes a 5-4 loss to Mission Oak. They'll play Delano next week.

“Hopefully we can carry this on into next week,” McCusker said.

Strathmore forced the doubles showdown by winning three of their six singles matches to tie the match at 3-all before doubles.

Getting their wins in singles for the Spartans were No. 2 Hennasey Mendoza (6-4, 6-1) and No. 4 Abby Miller (6-3, 6-4). No. 3 Taylor Simonich lost her first set 6-3 but won the next 6-3 and the tiebreaker 10-7.

Monache first won the No. 3 doubles match 8-1, but an 8-1 win from Simonich and Mendoza tied the score again.

“I mixed up the doubles a little this year and I feel like the players compliment each other well,” McCusker said. “Having a little bit of success in doubles which is nice.”

The Spartans return four of their top six except for their former No. 4 and No. 6 while, the Marauders (1-4) only brought back Sotelo, Lathrop and Jenna Keller. Perez said his main goal is for the team to learn the fundamentals and have fun so his young team will continue to grow.

“It's a rebuilding year for us, so as long as we're showing some improvement, that's my only concern,” MHS head coach Gary Perez said. “We just keep working at it. Keep trying to build the kids' skill. For some of these, probably 50% of the team, a lot of it's just the exposure to the game format. Hopefully just keep improving.”

Monache's wins in singles were from No. 1 Sotelo (7-6, 6-3), No. 5 Evelyn Ceballos (6-0, 6-1) and No. 6 Rose Gutierrez (6-0, 6-1).

The Marauders have over a week before their next matches which will be at the Redwood High School tournament on Sept. 13-14.

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