LA CAÑADA — Backed by a core of experienced doubles players, the members of the La Cañada High girls’ tennis team figure they might have an advantage in many of their matches.
The Spartans return four doubles athletes, including senior Emily Swanson. For Swanson, it’s about teaming up with partner Serena Zheng to lead the charge.
Swanson and Zheng proved to be up to task Thursday, as they swept their three sets to propel host La Cañada to an 11-7 nonleague victory against neighbor Flintridge Prep.
“I’m not sure how we would do in this match,” said Swanson, who teamed up with Zheng and only lost only three games on a warm afternoon. “We had to go out there and win as many games as possible.
“The teams looks up to us to play well. We are hoping we have a good season. We have a lot of new people.”
La Cañada won eight doubles sets to improve to 2-0. It opened the season Tuesday with a 12-6 nonleague win against visiting Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.
On Thursday, the Spartans received a sweep in doubles from Suma Gudapati and Sharyse Watanabe (6-0, 6-2, 6-1) and got two wins from the tandem of Cathey Seo and Sara Cho (6-0, 6-0). Seo and Cho clinched the victory for the Spartans, who finished second in the Rio Hondo League last season, with a 6-0 victory against Ester Kim and Joyce Hwang.
La Cañada Coach Will Moravec said he will look for the doubles team to carry the Spartans throughout the season.
“It’s good to have that kind of experience,” Moravec said. “Our singles is also good.
“This match was a great test for us. We were hoping that it would be a match where everybody would be tested.”
Flintridge Prep (0-1) received a fine effort from senior Roya Gheissari, who swept her three sets, 6-4, 6-2, 6-0.
Flintridge Prep first-year Coach Hratchia Sargsyan said Gheissari excelled against some formidable opponents.
“She’s been playing tennis for a long time,” Sargsyan said. “You can see how she’s developed on the court.
“I thought we did well. Right now, we are doing well in singles. Our doubles needs some work.”
La Cañada got a pair of singles victories from Sawa Keymeulen (6-2, 6-0) and one from Caroline Rainey (6-2).
Flintridge Prep’s Suzie Kim won two singles sets (6-2, 6-2). The Rebels got a 6-2 singles victory from Lori Pridjian. Helen Yun and Cady Arcadia of Flintridge Prep earned a 6-4 doubles victory.