With a come-from-behind victory over Beverly Hills, the Samo High varsity girls’ tennis team locked up the Ocean League championship. The Santa Monica High team is currently undefeated in league, and with only one league meet remaining, Samo will be the champion regardless of the result.
In the meet against Beverly Hills, after dropping some close matches in the first two rounds, the Samo girls were losing seven matches to five. To prevail, the team needed to win four matches decisively in the final round. The Samo team responded and singles players Katerina Mozolyuk and Kayla Shapiro and doubles teams Sabrina Norton/Carly Brown and Maggie Lefebvre/ Rebecca Sherouse won their matches while giving up only two games in total. At the end of the final round, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills were tied with nine matches each, but Santa Monica triumphed because it had won five more games than Beverly Hills. “We knew that it would be tough because we barely won against Beverly Hills the first time and we expected them to be charged up and out to beat us,” said Santa Monica head coach Wilston Poon. “Beverly Hills has won the league championship each of the last fifteen years and it was not about to give up without a fight. Both teams brought their ‘A’ games today.”
Now that the regular season is winding down, up next for the team is the CIF Championships. Currently, Santa Monica is ranked third in CIF behind tennis powerhouses Palm Desert and Santa Barbara. Asked whether the Santa Monica team can win CIF, Poon responded that “Palm Desert and Santa Barbara have very strong teams, but after seeing the determination and tenacity of the Samo girls first hand, I think that we have a good chance to take it all. Win or lose, however, I am very proud of what this team has accomplished this season.”