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Flintridge Sacred Heart tennis tops Alemany, stays unbeaten in league

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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis player Hayes Sullivan returns a shot as teammate Claire McDonald looks on during a Sunshine League match against visiting Alemany at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center on Tuesday.
(Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

With experience and a touch of depth, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis team appears to have the right mix to contend for a league championship.

The Tologs have used both facets to their advantage, leading to a first-place standing in the Sunshine League at the midway point of league play.

In a league match Tuesday, a huge surge in doubles paved the way for Flintridge Sacred Heart, which won all nine sets, to register a key 13-5 home win against Alemany at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center.

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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis player Meghan Garrity returns the ball in home game vs. Alemany High School in Sunshine League match at Scholl Canyon Golf & Tennis Club, in Glendale on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.
(Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

“We like the mix that we have throughout our team,” said Flintridge Sacred Heart coach Rom Zambrano, who guided the Tologs to an outright Sunshine League title in 2014 before sharing it with Immaculate Heart in 2015. “We just need to have them keep their focus and keep concentrating.

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“They are on top of their game right now and we’re getting closer. We still have the second round of league play to go, but we are confident with the way we are playing.”

Flintridge Sacred Heart (6-4, 4-0 in league) got sweeps in doubles from Hayes Sullivan and Claire McDonald, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0, and Lana Megerdichian and Joelle Souma, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. The Tologs also received a sweep from the duo of Olivia Partamian and Alex De La Mora, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis doubles player Hayes Sullivan returns the ball in home game vs. Alemany High School in Sunshine League match at Scholl Canyon Golf & Tennis Club, in Glendale on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.
(Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

Sullivan and McDonald, both juniors, have played doubles together since joining the team two seasons ago.

“We’re comfortable when we are playing together,” Sullivan said. “We know how to help each other out.

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“It’s great for the team to be doing so well. We have some new players and we’ve been able to switch around the lineup some times.”

Said McDonald: “Hayes and I get along and we know where the other player will be on the court. All of our players are going out there and getting the crucial points when they need to.”

Flintridge Sacred Heart received two wins in singles from Meghan Garrity, 6-2, 6-1, and one apiece from Meghan Sullivan, 6-2, and MJ Von der Ahe, 6-3.

“We were able to get out to a 4-2 lead after the first round and that was big,” Zambrano said. “Then we were able to make it 8-4 going into the third round.

“It would be great to win league, but also go far in the [CIF Southern Section Division IV] playoffs.”

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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis player Mary Jane Von der Ahe returns the ball in home game vs. Alemany High School in Sunshine League match at Scholl Canyon Golf & Tennis Club, in Glendale on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.
(Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)

Alemany (2-2 in league) got three wins in singles from No. 1 player Isabel Coscolluela, the league’s reigning most valuable player, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0.

The Warriors received two singles victories from Sofia Hutton, 7-5, 6-1.

The five-team league also includes Louisville, Immaculate Heart and Notre Dame Academy.

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Flintridge Sacred Heart and Alemany will meet again Oct. 24.

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