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Tennis

Cate Tennis Ousted by Riverside Poly in CIF Quarterfinals

Cate fell behind 6-0 in the first round against Riverside Poly and dropped an 11-7 decision in the quarterfinals of the CIF Division 2 girls tennis playoffs on Monday at Cate.

"We finally ran up against a team with no weak points," Cate coach Trevor Thorpe said. "Throughout the year, we've always been able to shift our lineup around and use our versatility to overcome strong opponents, but this team was just too deep. They're the three-time consecutive CIF D4 Runner-Up team, so they also have a wealth of experience."

Round two went better for the Rams, who secured wins from freshman Grace Fuss over senior Dani Baum (6-4) and junior Jackie Cai against junior Jalyn Kornblum 6-2. Kornblum is ranked nearly 200 places ahead of Cai in U.S. national rankings, making this one of Cai's biggest wins on the season, said Thorpe.

Summer Christensen and Sarah Polowczak tried to regroup after suffering their first loss in team play in the first round, but after coming back from 3-5 down in the second set, suffered a tie-break defeat.

Down 2-10, Cate picked up wins from Christensen/Polowczak against a Poly substitute team (6-2) and Eva Herman/Janice Ng defeated the Poly No. 3 team, playing some of their best tennis of the playoffs (6-1), Thorpe said.  For Christensen and Herman, this marked the final match (and win) of their high school careers in team play, though Christensen will go on to compete in CIF Individuals with Polowczak.

In singles, Grace Fuss picked up a gritty 6-4 victory over senior Dyala Harb and Jackie Cai played her best tennis of the season in a 6-1 win over Dani Baum. That left just one match on-court, between senior Katherine Grossman and Poly sub Lily Mitchell. Grossman completed the "Cate senior sweep" of the final round in a tie-break set.

"Winning five out of the last six sets really helped us come out of this match with the right feeling. We played our hearts out every single match of the year, so it was nice to go down fighting in our last match of the season," said Thorpe.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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