La Cañada High girls' tennis loses close match to Arcadia

ARCADIA — For a moment, the La Cañada High girls' tennis team appeared in line for victory Monday.

Needing only to win one of the final two sets of a nonleague road match against Arcadia, the Spartans turned to their No. 1 doubles team of Emily Swanson and Emily Matuska to get them over the top in games.


The tandem inched closer before serving for match-point. Unfortunately for La Cañada, it couldn't wrap up the victory, and instead suffered a 10-8 defeat.

Swanson and Matuska held a 5-4 lead before Arcadia's Jenny Yang and Shelley Park rallied to win the set, 7-6 (7-4).


"It's nerve-wracking and we were all over the place," Matuska said. "I had never played in a tiebreaker before and things were a little confusing.

"Both of us are pretty disappointed because we were ahead. I learned that I have to try to calm down and just play each point."'

La Cañada (5-3) rallied to force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, La Cañada held a 2-0 lead before Arcadia (9-1) rallied to take a 4-2 lead. The Spartans pulled to within 4-3, but the Apaches closed out on a 3-1 run.

The defeat left veteran La Cañada Coach Will Moravec, who got singles sweeps from Cassie McKenzie and Ally McKenzie, frustrated.

"I've told them all along, since the very first day, that this is not the Cassie and Ally show," Moravec said. "They can only go out there and get us six points.

"We had a chance to win the match. It's sad that we couldn't win a doubles set."

The match was close from the start, as the teams were deadlocked at 6 entering the third round.

Arcadia, ranked No. 7 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll, won all nine doubles sets. The Apaches, who won the Pacific League championship last season, also received a key 6-2 singles victory from Sharlene Song.

The Spartans excelled in singles, winning eight sets. Cassie McKenzie won, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0, and Ally McKenzie won her three sets, 6-0, 6-0, 6-1. The Spartans also got two singles wins from Sawa Keymeulen (6-3, 6-2).

La Cañada will next compete in a Rio Hondo League home match against San Marino, which won the Division II championship last season. The Titans are No. 1 in the latest CIF poll.