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Tennis undefeated, WSL champions

After an afternoon of hitting forehands and backhands in the hot sun on Oct. 21, coach George Freeman called for quiet and launches into a long-repeated pep talk. “”We are working for Valley girls-keep up the hard work!””

The girls’ current tennis season is no exception to the program’s long tradition of winning. Tennis is once again the West Sierra League champion going undefeated, 17-0, and 14-0 in W.S.L. play after defeating Tranquility, 9-0, on Oct. 22.

“”This season has exceeded all my expectations, all my hopes,”” Freeman said. “”We aren’t just undefeated; we are beating most of the teams we play, 9-0. I would have to attribute this to the girls’ desire to perform, both on and off the court.””

Not only has coach Freeman helped molded his top players into playoff form, but his young players like Katie Jacobsen, ’05, have provided a strong work ethic from the bottom of the ladder.

“Katie’s quickness and athleticism has brought her to the top of her game,” Freeman said. “She inspires other players to compete with the same intensity and effort.”

A first-year varsity player, Jacobsen is currently playing at the number seven position.

“”I got started playing tennis in junior high, when all of my friends played on coach Freeman’s team,”” Jacobsen said. “”This season has been awesome–all the girls on the team are really funny and enjoyable to play with.””

With league play over, the team is beginning to set its sights on a Valley championship. While the girls have lost the championship to rival Templeton two years in a row, the girls have high hopes for a championship.

“”I know the whole team really wants to win Valley this year,”” Julie Fujihara, ’03, said. “”I want a Valley patch and ring. Being runner-up to Templeton stinks, its just not enough.””

Not only do the girls have desire on their side, they also have a strategic 6-3 win over Coast Union, Oct. 4. Victories over other schools are nothing new for the team, but victories over schools that have beaten Templeton this year are.

“”The win over Coast was huge,”” Hillary Kell, ’05, said. “”It really gave us all the confidence that if we can beat them, then we can beat Templeton.””

With the team’s combination of talent and drive, their hopes for a championship seem in fair shape to solidify.

“”If we play at the top of our game during the postseason,”” Freeman said, “”there will probably be a fourth Valley championship trophy in our trophy case. This team is exciting to watch so come out and support the tennis girls in playoffs.””

W.S.L. team playoffs begin Nov. 5 but the singles and doubles individual competition begins on Oct. 26 at Clovis West High School. For more information, call coach Freeman at 297-9464, ext. 122.

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