Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
St. Francis High’s Catinca Negru, above, combined forces with Paulina Bajet to finish second in doubles at CCS.
The St. Francis High doubles team of Paulina Bajet and Catinca Negru last week doubled up on runner-up trophies at the Central Coast Section Individual Tennis Championships.
The top-seeded duo repeated as second-place finishers at the tourney, beaten by a familiar team at Courtside Tennis Club in Los Gatos. Mitty’s Felicity Maltby and Catalina Rico, seeded second, prevailed 6-2, 7-5 Nov. 20.
Just a few weeks earlier, Bajet and Negru routed Maltby and Rico 6-2, 6-0 in the West Catholic Athletic League finals.
Bajet and Negru won three matches to reach the CCS final. After cruising to straight-set wins over teams from Leland and Carmel the first day, the pair topped Christi Tain and Lian Ye of Milpitas 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals.
Mountain View’s Vivian Li and Polina Gorshenina went as far as the CCS semifinals, in which Mitty’s Maltby and Rico triumphed 6-3, 6-3.
“The Spartans were competitive with Mitty,” Mountain View coach Frank Smyth said. “Losing a few points here and a few there was the difference.”
Fourth-seeded Li and Gorshenina “won easily their two matches on the first day,” Smyth said. The duo beat teams from Leland and Leigh in straight sets.
Los Altos’ Lili Kobayashi and Carina Burdick won their opening match 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 over a team from Harker. In the second round, Mitty’s Maltby and Rico beat the unseeded Eagles 6-3, 6-2.
On the singles side of the tourney, Los Altos freshman Juliette Martin was eliminated in the opening round. Stephanie Nguyen of Leland topped Martin 6-1, 6-1.
Homestead took higher-seeded California (San Ramon) to five games before falling in the Northern California Division I quarterfinals. The host Grizzlies prevailed 26-28, 25-22, 25-11, 23-25, 18-16 in the Nov. 20 match.
The Mustangs, CCS runners-up, rallied from a 14-7 deficit to win the fourth game. The fifth game went back and forth until California pulled ahead 17-16 on a hitting error and won on Sabrina Clayton’s 26th kill.
Senior outside hitter Emily Reed tallied a match-high 32 kills for Homestead. Junior outside hitter Casey Carroll, one of three Los Altos residents on the team, notched the deciding kill in the fourth game.
The Mustangs finished the season with a 24-10 record; California improved to 30-3.
Homestead, which placed third in the SCVAL De Anza Division, graduates only four players.
“Next year will be a great year for Homestead,” said coach Gary Carroll, Casey’s dad, “and I think we will be back in the (CCS) finals.”