Keymuelen emerges as Spartans ace

TEMPLE CITY — Throughout the year, Sawa Keymuelen has played out of the No. 2 singles slot for the La Cañada High girls' tennis team. The freshman proved she'll be taking over the top spot her sophomore year in the Rio Hondo League tournament, which was held at Temple City's Live Oak Park Wednesday and Thursday.

Keymuelen emerged as the Spartans' most dominant and consistent singles player this year. It elevated her to and through the league's singles tournament semifinals and third place overall — the best showing for any Spartan the past two years.

"I can't believe it, I told myself not to expect anything," Keymuelen said. "I am really surprised and totally grateful I made it through."

Keymuelen secured third place with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Blair's Heather Shamby on Thursday. Keymuelen lost to San Marino's Dorothy Tang, the tournament's top seed, in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-0.

"My goal was to learn from [playing with Tang]," Keymuelen said. "These strong players have no weaknesses, in my point of view. I was trying to find one little speck of something I could use. There wasn't too much there, really."

Keymuelen won three of four matches in the tournament overall, posting 8-3 wins over Monrovia's Victoria Rose and San Marino's Lauren Chang in the first two rounds Wednesday.

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