Rebels turn it up a notch

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — At the 10-match mark, Flintridge Prep girls' tennis Coach Ron Catano couldn't have asked for a better start to the season.

Armed with a balanced lineup, highlighted by a strong singles trio, the Rebels have yet to show any signs of stumbling. Continued steady play in singles in the upcoming weeks might position the Rebels to stay in the hunt for the Prep League championship.

On Thursday afternoon, things turned out perfect.

Flintridge Prep picked up eight singles victories, including sweeps from Kira Lee and Jenise Vargas, to record a 14-4 league win against Mayfield at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center.

The Rebels (9-1 and 3-1 in league) saw Kira Lee and Jenise Vargas each sweep their three singles sets without losing a game. They also got a 6-1, 6-1 victory from Roya Ghessari.

"We are winning the matches that we are supposed to," said Catano, whose team won its third match in a row. "They have matured and they are stronger mentally.

"We are playing all three of our sets strongly and, in previous years, it would be a coin toss. We want to get our players more confident for the next couple of matches. I like our win-loss ratio because it says that my players have been good."

The Rebels, who advanced to the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs last season, also received a doubles sweep from Ali Preiss and Lugene El-Harazi. The duo won, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

Abby Letts teamed with Young-In Kim to earn 6-0, 6-1 wins for Flintridge Prep, which also got a 7-5 doubles victory from Isabella Weiss and Lucy Wagner.

Catano, who led the school's boys' team to a share of the league championship in 2009, said there's room for improvement.

"Some of the teams that we've played haven't been that strong, but those teams had a few good players," Catano said. "We just want to keep getting better and be able to spread things out evenly.

"We are a pretty deep team and that will help us going into the playoffs."

Mayfield dropped to 1-6 and 0-4.

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