Christopher High’s Shelby O’Hara and Gilroy High’s Lizabeth Orellana-Rios both said that there was something familiar with their match Tuesday afternoon.
“We played before and it was the same way – long rallies, shorter balls,” Orellana-Rios said. “Those are my favorite matches. They are fun to play.”
O’Hara and Orellana-Rios kept the other on their toes, chasing down shots around every inch of the court throughout their rematch.
Back and forth across the baseline and to and from the net, rallies, again, were abundant. The only difference this time – the counterpart’s match came in the No. 1-singles slot instead of No. 2.
“I’m usually over there where there is nobody watching,” O’Hara said. “So having a whole set of bleachers was different.”
O’Hara, as she did in the previous meeting, won a closely contested match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in helping the Cougars claim a 6-1 victory over the Mustangs in Monterey Bay League Pacific Division action.
“I tried aiming the ball to different spots this time, instead of just using my power,” O’Hara said. “I took a different strategy this time and I think it helped.”
The Cougars, who improve to 5-1 in league play, swept all four singles matches in straight sets, doing so without their usual No. 1-singles player Emily Barham, who is out this week with a slight shoulder injury.
“We have the depth now to move the players around,” CHS head coach Patrick McBrearty said, adding that Barham will be back next week, in time for a showdown with first place Alvarez, which is the only team to beat CHS in the division.
Veteran singles players Adena Chen and Nubia Juarez moved up one singles position and first-year player Tiffany Roberts, who has a collective singles and doubles record of 10-4, filled in at No. 4-singles. Chen (No. 2-singles) won 6-1, 6-1, Juarez (No. 3-singles) claimed a 6-4, 6-2 decision and Roberts delivered a 6-0, 6-2 win.
“Adena is playing well right now. And Tiffany is able to adjust between doubles and singles. She is athletic in that way,” McBrearty said.
A young GHS team under first-year head coach Rick Westbay, picked up its point at No. 2-doubles.
Caitlyn Felice-Hollar and Nicole Holder overcame a first-set loss and eventually won the match in a third set tiebreaker 4-6, 6-3 and 10-4.
Christopher’s final two points come at No. 1-doubles and No. 3-doubles. Pairs Elizabeth Levan and Yvonne AuYeung (6-2, 6-4) and Laura Freiberg and Jade Bardick (6-0, 6-1) were responsible for those.