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CHS tennis sneaks by Tesoro, advances in CIF playoffs

It may be a worn out cliché, but it was déjà vu all over again for Claremont High School tennis on Wednesday in Claremont.

Last week the Pack tied Ayala on sets, so it came down to counting games, which gave the match to the Bulldogs.

Fast-forward to this week, and the Pack was once again tied on sets deep into the third round of the CIF Division III playoff against Tesoro. Coach Kathy Settles began talking about the possibility of counting games.

But the Pack got a break when Kristin Hernandez and Salma Mohideen defeated Tesoro’s number one seed in doubles play, giving Claremont a slight lead. However, two singles matches were still being contested and Claremont needed one to win the match.

Claremont freshman Jahday Drewery gave Tesoro senior Hannah Hass a real run for her money, but the Titan eventually prevailed, 6-3.

That left one singles set still in play, between Claremont freshman Caren Uribe and Tesoro senior Soumya Ravichandran. If the Titan won that set, then it would be back to counting games. Ravichandran played hard but Uribe finally got the 6-3 victory.

“I knew I had to win either way, but I did not know it was for the whole match,” Uribe said, while celebrating with her teammates.

Claremont is now going to the second round of CIF playoffs with the 10-8 win over Tesoro.

Freshman Goldie La and doubles partners, juniors Astrid Petropoulos and Emma Berens, were undefeated in all three sets. La remains undefeated for the season.

“It’s been a great experience with all my teammates and my coach. It’s actually very different [from tournament play], but in a good way,” La said.

“That was a really close one,” Coach Settles said. “I didn’t do the math so I don’t know if we would have won on games, but she [Uribe] really came through.”

In her parting remarks to the team, Coach Settles expressed her pride, but also warned of the tough competition ahead.

“You guys came up big, a lot of the sets could have gone either way, but that is what these matches are going to be like. Everyone is going to be competitive,” she said. “That sends a great message to the rest of the teams that we are a tough team and that we can compete and play hard.”

The Pack will play their second round match on Friday against the winner of Serrano and Calvary Chapel, Santa Ana. The location was not yet known as of press time.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com