No luck of draw in league tennis tournament for La Cañada

TEMPLE CITY — It all came down to the luck of the draw and the La Cañada High girls' tennis team simply didn't have any in the preliminary rounds of the Rio Hondo League Individual Tournament at Live Oak Park in Temple City Wednesday.

Of six first-round matches, which were played to eight-game pro sets like all of Wednesday's matches, the Spartans won five, but they had their work cut out for them in the second round. All of La Cañada's players had to face an opponent from the league-champion San Marino squad, which produced the league's title winners and runners-up in singles and doubles in 2011 and is expected to do so again this year.

As a result, the Spartans were unable to send anyone onto the second day and semifinals of the tournament on Thursday at Live Oak Park.

"This year San Marino is the gem of the league and we just got a bad draw because we had to play them all in the second round," La Cañada Coach Will Moravec said. "Obviously, if we were a little better we might be seeded and it changes the draws."

The season isn't over for the Spartans, who earned a postseason bid to the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs after finishing second in league this year. Moravec and the rest of La Cañada will hope for a better draw and a home playoff match when the brackets are released Monday at 11 a.m.

After going 43-15 in games in the first round, La Cañada could only win five games in the second round against the Titans, who advanced all six participants to the semifinals.

La Cañada's No. 1 doubles team of Alison Chang and Sharyse Watanabe fared the best against San Marino, as the pair won three games against San Marino's Andrea Klein and Aliki Kvitne, 8-3, after defeating Temple City's Kathy Tu and Jolene Peng in the first round, 8-1.

"It was really bad luck," Chang said of the draw. "I remember we played San Marino last year and we lost. First round we felt we were going to win, but the second round was tough."

The No. 2 team for La Cañada, Emily Swanson and Serena Zheng, fell to San Marino's Monique Gandawidjaja and Lauren Chang, 8-2, after a first-round win over Monrovia's Karley Chick and Haley Martinez, 8-1.

Lynn Gilmour and Ana Dewar — the Spartans' No. 3 team — fell to top-seeded Madeline Gandawidjaja and Larissa Phillips, 8-0, after winning a first-round match against Monrovia's Katey Shepherd and Verity Tawel, 8-4.

The Spartans singles players couldn't pull out a game in the second round with Sawa Keymeulen and Sharon Kim falling to San Marino's Vivian Le (8-0) and Devon Jack (8-0), respectively. Keymeulen and Kim won their first matches of the day easily against South Pasadena's Elyse Yim (8-0) and Monrovia's Tressa Mikel (8-1), respectively.

La Cañada's No. 3 singles player Suma Gudipati lost her first-round match to Monrovia's Victoria Rose, 8-3.

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