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Tennis: Dos Pueblos’ Stratman Earns Channel League Singles Title

Undefeated freshman guts out victory over teammate Cano to win the championship.

For any tennis contest, it is not unusual for coaches to prep for matches. Before Tuesday’s CIF Singles Championship matches got under way at Tennis Club of Santa Barbara, San Marcos coach Kara Warkentin and I, along with Harry the referee, squeegeed the courts slated for the semis and finals. While we worked, we reminisced about local tennis history and former players.

The four seeded players — Dos Pueblos senior Erica Cano, Santa Barbara junior Rachel Decker-Sadowski, San Marcos senior Julian Mannix and Dos Pueblos freshman Lauren Stratman — played off in some of the best “energized” tennis I have seen in a long time. In addition, Dos Pueblos made history. The windy, cold conditions, with leaves and umbrellas flying, did not affect the players as they heated up the courts with nicely placed shots.

In the semifinals, Stratman defeated Mannix, 6-3, 6-1, in a slugfest in which each player covered a lot of ground and grunted out their shots loudly. The other semifinal also gave us a lot thrills as Cano broke her streak against Decker-Sadowski. This time, her long battle paid off in a fiery 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win. Both players displayed their “all-business” attitude and were calm and confident on the court, mixing up their shots and running down every ball. What a journey Cano has taken in her four years with Chargers Tennis!

In the finals, Stratman played Cano in a gutsy battle. Both players skidded lines, drop-shotted, lobbed and deftly moved the ball from corner to corner. In the end, Stratman won 6-3, 6-0. It has been a long time since Dos Pueblos had two players reach the singles finals of the Channel League tournament.

Both players finished with remarkable records: Stratman at 43-0 and Cano at 50-4.

Each player raised her game immensely and they all showed incredible sportsmanship in handling their wins and losses. All of the players gave everything they had Tuesday. Again, we applaud all of the fans who came to support the teams.

The Channel League tournament continues Wednesday with the doubles competition hosted by San Marcos. The first match will begin at 12:30 pm.

Liz Frech coaches girls’ tennis at Dos Pueblos High.

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