LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — The La Cañada High girls' tennis team hosted St. Lucy's on Wednesday in a rematch of the first round of the 2010 CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs, when the Regents defeated the Spartans.
It ended much the same way Tuesday, as St. Lucy's, the defending Sierra League champions whose 2010 season ended in the second round of the playoffs, beat La Cañada, 11-7.
The Spartans (3-3) put themselves in an early hole against St. Lucy's, as Sharon Kim was the only Spartan to win her first round set, 6-2, against Marissa Aclan. La Cañada staged a late comeback and won three sets in the final round, but still lost to the defending Sierra League champions, who defeated the Spartans, 10-8, in last season's first round.
La Cañada Coach Will Moravec said the match really came down to two close sets in the first round. Sawa Keymeulen, the Spartans' No. 2 singles player, and Alison Chang and Linnea Frazier, the team's No. 1 doubles team, both dropped their first sets of the day by a score of 6-4.
"Tennis is all momentum, just like any sport," Moravec said. "If we get both those wins, we are tied 3-3 and they are feeling the pressure. Up 5-1, they were totally comfortable, though."
It wasn't all bad news for Moravec, as he got Sydney Fischel back in the lineup after she missed the team's first five matches this season with a pulled abdominal muscle.
"It's great to have Sydney back in the lineup because she really is one of our better singles players," Moravec said. "Sharon has really come on lately so we could have a nice one-two punch in singles."
Fischel, who played in the No. 3 singles spot Tuesday, dropped her first set of the day to Alekya Tummala, 6-0, before bouncing back to win her second set against Danielle Cooney, 6-1.
"I was a little uptight in that first game because it was my first game back this season," said Fischel, who won her final set of the day against Aclan, 6-0. "I wasn't capitalizing on my chances, and in the second game I was just more relaxed. It felt good to be back out there."
The Spartans pulled out three wins in the second round, as Fischel picked up the 6-1 win over Cooney, Keymeulen defeated Aclan, 6-2, and Chang and Frazier got a 6-2 victory over Steph Malki and Nicole Elias.
La Cañada will look to get back on a winning note with a match against Flintridge Prep on Friday.