The Ocean View High girls’ tennis team has improved this season, but the Seahawks didn’t really have a chance to show it in Golden West League play until Wednesday.
Ocean View hosted Godinez and, over the span of three hours, the Seahawks were able to enjoy some of the fruits of their labor.
Ocean View snapped a 17-match league losing streak and beat the Grizzlies 13-5. It was the first league win for Ocean View in nearly two years, since beating Santa Ana on Oct. 12, 2017. The Seahawks went 0-10 in the league last season.
Ocean View played Godinez the closest in league play last year, losing 10-8 and 11-7, but it got over the hump on Wednesday. Juniors Kaitlyn Luhm and Jessica Lyng swept in singles for Ocean View (6-5, 1-4 in league).
No. 3 singles player Caritina Galvez, also a junior, won twice, rallying to push Godinez’s top player Maria Nieto to a tiebreaker before falling 7-6 (7-4).
First-year varsity coach Ivy Marden, who was the Seahawks’ junior varsity coach last season, said the singles players have been striving to be more consistent.
“They’ve worked on their patience and they’ve extended the rallies, which sometimes I think can be daunting to the opponent,” Marden said. “Sometimes it’s a battle of who can outlast one another. We’ll build from that, then hopefully we’ll work on putting some put-away shots in their back pocket. It may not happen this season, and that’s OK, as long as they come back next year. We want to just keep moving in a forward, upward motion.”
The key is not getting frustrated, Luhm said.
“It’s all about being the infinite well of patience with our opponents,” she said.
Lyng said she has added a new secret weapon to her repertoire.
“I use slices,” she said. “That’s how I’ve gotten so many wins. It’s the first time I’ve used them in a [match], and I think I’m doing pretty good.”
Ocean View’s No. 1 doubles team of senior Lydia Villanueva and junior Christina Ho also swept, winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. The No. 2 pairing of senior Jazmin Navarrete and sophomore Rebecca Harter-Foist won twice against Godinez (3-9, 0-5).
Villanueva and Ho are in their second year as a doubles team, and that has made a difference.
“Honestly, I think we’re just trusting each other more,” Villanueva said. “We kind of play to each other’s weaknesses. We know each other’s weaknesses, and if it’s our strength, we go for it and rely on each other a lot. We know who goes where, and if we miss a shot, it’s OK. We cheer each other up.”
Ocean View may still be in fifth place in the six-team Golden West League, but a team with six junior starters shows promise for the future. The Seahawks continue league play with a home match against Westminster on Thursday. The Lions won 12-6 in the teams’ first league meeting.
Ocean View also has already surpassed its win total from last year’s 4-12 season.
“We’re embracing all of the little steps,” Marden said. “Today was a really, really big success, but I tell the girls to hold on to even the little victories. There’s something to be learned every time you get on the court, and we just try to stay positive. When we’re not successful, there’s opportunities that are presenting themselves for you to learn from. You make corrections for your next match; you don’t take it with you.”
Support our sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.