The last time Garces girls tennis won an outright Southwest Yosemite League championship, Alexsia Drulias was just a freshman playing on the same court as her older sister, Anastasia, who was a senior in 2016.
On Monday, Alexsia Drulias, now a senior, capped off her standout high school career in SWYL play with another outright title in a 7-2 win at Stockdale.
“I couldn’t ask anything more from my team,” Drulias said. “They were so dedicated all season and there is so much more. We are not done. So much postseason play coming up.”
The Rams clinched the league title and a 10-0 SWYL record this season in singles play, defeating the Mustangs in five of the six matches, including Drulias beating Greta Krueger, 6-0, 6-3 in No. 1 action.
“You can’t put into words what they’ve meant to this program,” Garces coach Barb Johnston Hill said. “The good people that the parents are, the girls are, you just don’t come across that every year. We are going to miss them. I am so happy for Alexsia and the rest of the girls that we could win it outright this year.”
After Drulias, Jackie Sala and Kylee Limpias all earned straight-set victories in the top-three singles action, the two teams split the No. 5 and No. 6 singles play.
So, it was once again up to junior Sierra Kent to close it out in singles play in the No. 4 action for Garces (18-3, 10-0).
Kent lost the opening set 7-6 to Jasmine Flores, before coming back 6-3, 10-1 to secure the title and a hug from her head coach.
“She’s such a competitor,” Johnston Hill said. “The competitive spirit in that girl is awesome. I love it.”
These two teams shared the league title in 2018.
Next up for Garces is SWYL singles and doubles tournament beginning with opening rounds at Stockdale on Wednesday and finishing up Thursday and Friday at Bakersfield High.
Garces will host the South Area qualifying tournament Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and the Central Section singles and doubles championships Nov. 8-9.
The Rams are expected to be the No. 2 seed in the Central Section Division I playoffs that begin on Oct. 30. Clovis North, which beat Garces twice in non-league action before Kent became eligible after transferring from North, is the likely No. 1 seed and Arroyo Grande could be the No. 3 seed when the playoff brackets are released later this week.
“We are excited. We’ve been working for many months,” Johnston Hill said. “Now it’s all coming together. In the playoffs, hopefully we get a good draw and stay at home until we get to the finals, if we get that far. That would be awesome.”
Garces 7, Stockdale 2
SINGLES: Drulias, G, d. Krueger, 6-0, 6-3; Sala, G, d. Guijaro, 6-0, 6-1; Limpias, G, d. Anderson, 6-1, 6-1; Kent, G, d. Flores, 6-7, 6-2 (10-4); Gorda, S, d. Mercado, 4-6, 6-3 (10-1); Thomas, G, d. Wang, 6-2, 6-3.
DOUBLES: Krueger-Anderson, S, d. Drulias-Sala, 8-7; Limpias-Kent, G, d. Guijaro-Flores, 8-2; Demler-Echeverria, G, d. Kunani-Chuang, 8-7.
W-L: GMHS 18-3, 10-0 SWYL; SHS 8-2 SWYL
JV: GMHS 5, SHS 4