By: Ray Conner
The Lady Broncs tennis team hoped to further their history making season in the CIF team playoffs.
They would be taking on a tough Caruthers squad who also went undefeated through their league season. The Lady Blue Raiders had the home court advantage after Kern Valley won at home against Fowler.
According to the Lady Broncs head coach Brian Christianson the conditions and format were as follows: The weather was 77 degrees at the start of the match, and warmed up to 81degrees during the match. It ended at 4:30 p.m. There was no wind at all. The teams played best 2-of-3 sets with the third set being a 1- point tiebreaker if needed. The teams also played add scoring. A pro-set was played the last two doubles matches after Caruthers had the needed five team points. Caruthers has seven courts (only six were used) – the courts are split up with three on one part of the campus.
There were four other courts on campus, but on the other side of a building. Caruthers had a coach at each court, but Christianson had to keep going between the areas.
Caruthers was able to win the playoff match 6-3 by winning four of the singles matches and a pair of the doubles. Which in turn ended the Lady Broncs season.
The Lady Blue Raiders won the West Sequoia League easily at 12-0. They finished the year 15-4. Kern Valley was 8-4 on the season and won the High Desert League by going 6-0.
Kern Valley never quit as they battled the whole match. While the team score seemed lopsided, the actual game scores were quite close. Minus the tiebreakers, there were two that went to tiebreakers. Each team was able to win one of them. Caruthers won 83 games, while the Lady Broncs finished with 76 game wins in the match.
Kern Valley had a pair of winners in singles matches. Riley Quinn delivered a 6-3, 6-1 victory, while Niki Brooks had to go to the tiebreaker. Brooks lost her first set 5-7, but came back to win the second 6-4 to force the tiebreaker.
The two players traded points in the marathon, but in the end Brooks came out on top 12-10 to complete her win.
The team of Quinn and River Sartor picked up the other team point for the Lady Broncs with a win in their doubles match. This was after the match was already decided so they played the ‘add scoring’ format. They would beat their opponents 8-3.
In other doubles action, the team of Maddie Hurley and Hannah O’Campo lost 2-8 in the ‘add scoring’ format. Kern Valley’s other doubles team of Aislynne Chappel and Aidan Schultz would fall short 1-6 and 1-6.
In the singles play, Hurley dropped her match 4-6, 1-6, while O’Campo lost 2-6, 4-6. Sartor fell 5-7, 4-6, while Katie Davenport went to the tiebreaker where she fell short. The set scores were 5-7 and 6-1 to send it to the tiebreaker. In the tie-breaker, Davenport would lose 5-10.
Christianson commenting on the match said, “Boy, this was a battle. We just didn’t get the breaks today. A point here, a point there, and we win 5-4. What a great season for these girls. They battled and improved all year! Can’t say enough how proud I am of them.”
With the loss the Lady Broncs season came to a close, but they can’t be too disappointed because of the amazing, history making effort they accomplished this past year.