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GARCES TAKEOVER: Limpias wins SWYL singles title, Drulias-Sala win doubles title

For the first time as members of the Southwest Yosemite League, Garces sweeps the singles and doubles championships at Bakersfield High on Friday.

Freshman Kylee Limpias defeated Centennial senior Aleyna Young, 6-0, 6-4 in the singles championships.

“It feels pretty good and I am really excited to be the champion,” Limpias said. 

In the doubles championships, Alexsia Drulias and Jackie Sala of Garces defeated Greta Krueger and Kierstin Anderson of Stockdale, 6-3, 6-2 for a second consecutive league doubles title for the Gares duo.

Drulias and Sala won the 2018 Central Section doubles championship.

“This was huge,” Sala said. “We worked so hard for it.”

The two had very little time on court together this season as the Rams (18-3, 10-0 SWYL) played most of the doubles matches in pro-set matches after winning all 10 league matches before singles play ended. 

So, there was a little rust to be shaken off for these two.

“The couple days we had to prepare for it, we put everything we had on to the court,” Sala added.

After winning the doubles league and section titles as a freshman with her older sister, Anastasia, Alexsia Drulias is seeking a third doubles title in her four years at Garces.

The win in the finals comes just four days after Anderson and Krueger beat them in a no-add pro-set doubles match on Monday in the regular season finale, 8-7, after the Rams had just clinched the outright league title.

“We were able to fight through each point whether we won duece or not,” Drulias said. “That was really big for us … I had a great connection with my sister and now Jackie. This is completely rare to have such a great doubles partner.”

Limpias and Garces coach Barb Johnston Hill elected to have the freshman enter the singles competition in postseason play instead of doubles, and it worked out perfectly in league play.

Limpias did not drop a game in her two matches on Thursday and then beat Frontier’s Jordan Losa 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals to advance.

“She’s got the genes and the work ethic,” Johnston Hill said of Limpias, who is the No. 3 singles player for Garces. “I just knew we had challenge her to see how good she can be and I think she proved today she can be pretty darn good.”

The top six placers all advance to the South Area Tournament next Thursday and Friday at Garces. The Central Section singles and doubles championships will also be at Garces on Nov. 8-9.

Sierra Kent and Matea Thomas finished fourth in doubles play and Stephanie Mercado finished seventh in singles play. With another player forfeiting out of singles play at Area, Mercado advances, giving Garces six players heading to Area next week.

Garces award No. 2 seed in D-I playoffs

Coming off a perfect SWYL schedule, the Garces girls tennis team is the No. 2 seed in the Central Section Division I playoffs that begin on Wednesday.

The Rams earned a bye in the opening round and will host the quarterfinals on Nov. 5. Garces will face either No. 7 Bakersfield Christian or No. 10 Clovis West. The Rams beat BCHS in scrimmage action and defeated Clovis West 8-1 in non-league play at home in September.

Clovis North is the No. 1 seed in the top-half of the D-I bracket.

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