Doubles stays strong for Spartans versus Tigers

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — With the end of the Rio Hondo League season just around the corner, the La Cañada High and South Pasadena teams were in very different positions when both squads faced off for the second time this year.

The Spartans were looking to tighten their grasp on second place in the league standings with a victory, while the Tigers were experimenting and looking to see what pieces they can build on for the future. It wasn't enough to knock off La Cañada, though, which pulled out the 14-4 victory with another perfect 9-0 day in doubles.

"We have been kind of sweeping a lot, which is really great for us because last year we weren't as strong," said La Cañada's Lynn Gilmour, half of its No. 3 doubles team with Ana Dewar. "This year something's clicked with all the teams, it's been good."

South Pasadena Coach Jim Asher said the match really served as a chance for him to experiment with his team, which should return six players next year.

"We are already out of contention for CIF so we thought we'd experiment and give some new girls a chance in singles," said Asher, whose team fell to La Cañada, 16-2, on Sept. 27. "It's kind disappointing, I thought we would be a little stronger in doubles."

With San Marino undefeated in league at 5-0, the Spartans (9-5, 5-2 in league) locked up second place at least in the league standings with the win over South Pas (5-14, 3-4) after they also defeated Temple City, 12-6, Monday.

"It helps that we beat Temple City yesterday," La Cañada Coach Will Moravec said. "We had a big relief off our shoulders, we know we're going to qualify for CIF. The girls really started having the confidence in themselves, 'OK, I know where we belong.' All that stuff adds up."

Gilmour and Dewar were the only Spartans team to sweep Tuesday, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, with everyone else being subbed out in their final set for La Cañada.

"Being new to the team I never really got to play with any of the other members, but Lynn and I just clicked on the court and it's been a developing season," said Dewar, who made the switch to tennis after playing volleyball last year. We've really grown strong as a doubles team together."

The Spartans also got a sweep from Alison Chang in No. 1 doubles. She won her first two sets with Sharyse Watanabe (6-3, 6-3) and the final one with Claire Huh (6-1). La Cañada's No. 2 doubles team of Serena Zheng and Emily Swanson defeated its first two opponents, 6-3, 6-2 before being subbed out for Carly Moore and Megan Knapp, 6-3.

South Pasadena's No. 1 singles player freshman Symona Stans spoiled the chances of any La Cañada player sweeping in singles, as she dropped just two games en route to 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 victories.

"It was really easy from the last time I played them," said Stans, who felt sick the last time the two teams faced each other. "I was able to do better this time."

The Tigers' final win came from junior Rebecca Bu in singles, 6-0. The Spartans did get two singles victories from Suma Gudapati, 7-6, 6-1, and a win each from Sharon Kim (6-0), Sawa Keymeulen (6-1) and Emily Matuska (6-2).

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