High school tennis matches often are decided in the final set. Sometimes the key result is the No. 1 singles match. But rare is the match that is decided in the first No. 3 doubles match.
That's what happened Tuesday when Westlake High defeated Camarillo, 10-8, in a matchup of Marmonte League powers.
Westlake (4-1, 3-0 in league play) swept all nine singles points, but twins Brittany and Nicole Jensky made the difference by defeating Alison Gottlieb and Annie Doud, 6-4, at No. 3 doubles.
"Our singles played their heads off," said Westlake Coach Connie Flanderka, whose team lost twice to Camarillo last year and failed to win at least a share of the league title for the first time in seven years. "It's nice to be back in control."
Camarillo (2-2, 1-2), defending league champion, won the other eight doubles points.
Scorpion Coach Frances Giffin moved Brynne Chappell and Bettina Rettenmaier, normally the Nos. 2 and 3 singles players, to No. 1 doubles in an attempt to take advantage of Westlake's weakness at doubles. Chappell and Rettenmaier cruised to 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2 victories, but the Jenskys, who won one of three sets, spoiled the strategy.
"The match was very exciting and close," Giffin said. "We were hoping for more out of singles, but they played tough."
In singles play, Westlake's Katie Smith won her sets at No. 2, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.
Erin Smith swept her No. 3 singles matches, 6-0, 6-3 and 6-2.
Surprisingly, Helena Horak, Westlake's No. 1 player, had the most trouble. She faced a 3-3 tie with Katy Messmer in a fierce deuce battle before rallying to win, 6-3, and saw a 3-1 lead slip to 5-4 before finishing off Johanna Lalama with a service winner.
Those first two matches seemed to be a wake-up call for Horak, who lost only two points in sweeping her set against Stephanie Burdett, 6-0.
Messmer, Camarillo's No. 1 singles player, battled flu while losing, 3-6, 3-6 and 1-6.