Barb Johnston Hill knows when she has a good girls tennis team at Garces because there have been plenty in the past.
But with the addition of Sierra Kent to the fold now after transferring from North, Johnston Hill feels this might be one of the better teams in recent program history.
The Rams opened up Southwest Yosemite League play on Thursday with a 9-0 victory at Frontier.
“This is the deepest team we’ve had in a long, long time,” Johnston Hill said. “2011 was pretty darn good. They were competitors … That’s what got us to that (Central Section) Division I title. Now, these ladies, they are tennis players. They are competitive.”
In singles action, Alexsia Drulias beat Jordan Losa 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 singles match while Jackie Sala won 6-0, 6-0 over Megan Rice. In the third singles match, Kylee Limpias defeated Vanessa Camargo 6-0, 6-1 and Kent downed Claudia Alli 6-0, 6-0. In No. 5 singles, Matea Thomas was victorious 6-0, 6-0 over Claudia Alli and in the No. 6 match, Stephanie Mercado defeated Faith Boaz 6-0, 6-1.
“We’ve been working hard. We had a good preseason and now it’s time to see what we can do in league,” Johnston Hill said. “We’ve wanted to win a league championship for a while. I think it’s time to see if we can do that.”
Sala and Kent teamed up to beat Losa and Lucas 8-0 in the No. 1 doubles match and Taylor Crider and Teresa Demler beat Rice and Arianna Corral 8-1. To seal the sweep, Bella Etcheverria and Laura English beat Alli and Chloe Sanchez 8-5.
Last season, Garces tied Stockdale for the SWYL title, but the Rams (9-3, 1-0 SWYL) have not won an outright league title in five years and have not won a D-I section title in eight seasons. With such a deep and talented team this season, Johnston Hill feels that if the score is close coming out of single the rest of the season, advantage Garces.
“That helps our singles a lot, but it also helps our doubles,” Johnston Hill said. “It gives us a whole other option when you have four solid doubles players. We feel if we 3-3 with anybody, we have a good shot at winning two of those three doubles.”