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Cate Girls Tennis Survives Long Travel, Beats Xavier Prep on Games

Cate pulled out some huge game victories in the final round and that proved to be the difference in the Rams moving on in the CIF Division 2 girls tennis playoffs.


Cate edged Xavier Prep in a second-round match on a 69-68 advantage on total games after the teams tied 9-9 in sets.

The Rams got a pair of 6-1 wins from the doubles teams of Summer Christensen/Sarah Polowczak and Eva Herman/junior Janice Ng, Katherine Grossman beat Xavier Prep's No. 3 player in singles, 6-1, and the team of Carol Cai and Sydney Burton fought back from an 0-4 deficit, winning three games before falling 6-3.

"It was a crucial exercise in persistence," Cate coach Trevor Thorpe said of Cai and Burton getting the three wins.

"After several tense minutes of counting and recounting and confirming each individual score, Cate emerged from the desert dust with a 69-68 victory on games," added a relieve Thorpe.

The match was played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

"I am so proud of my players, not only for the way they battled for every single game, but also for the way they acted in victory," Thorpe said. "Our captains, Summer and Eva, called everyone over as Xavier Prep made one last hopeful recount. They told the team that we should wait until the bus to let out the excitement out of respect to our opponents, who were clearly crestfallen to lose by one game. These girls are a class act and it's a real pleasure to be their coach."

With the  dramatic win, Cate (12-1) advances to a quarterfinal match at home on Monday against Riverside Poly.

Herman and Ng earned a hard-fought 7-5 victory at No. 2 doubles  to give Cate a 4-2 lead after the first round of sets.

In the second round, Cai and the duo of Christensen and Polowczak picked up quick 6-0 victories to make the match 6-2. But Xavier Prep caught fire and won the next four sets to tie the match at 6-6.

"With the match tied at 6-6 after two rounds, it was time to start thinking about counting games. At that stage, Xavier held a two-game lead should the match end tied 9-9," Thorpe said.

Sure enough, the teams split the six sets in the third round to knot the match, creating a game-counting scenario at the end.

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