Lady Wildcats win one match while losing four

 The Taft High varsity girls’ tennis team faced some tough competition at the California High School Tennis Classic Friday and Saturdayand ended up going 1-4. The tournament hosts 112 of the top teams in California from San Diego to Chico and is the largest high school tennis tournament in the nation.

Taft played in Division 6 of nine divisions in the tournament. Taft, a division IV team in the valley sectionals, faced bigger schools from bigger divisions.

In the first match, Taft lost to D1 school Pitman of Turlock, 4-2, with Ana Estrada and Mariah Melton getting a straight set win at No. 1 doubles and Hayley Coker and Taylan Erro getting a straight set win at No. 3 doubles. In the second game, Taft was swept by D2 McClatchy of Sacramento, which has won its league for eight straight years.

Taft tied D4 Granite Hills of Porterville, 3-3, but lost on sets, 6-7. Estrada got a straight set win at No. 3 singles. Melton and Yeraldin Barrera won in straight sets at No. 2 doubles but Coker and Jessa Dahlgren lost their first set and took three sets to beat their opponents.

Taft lost to D3 Yosemite, 5-1, with Kristen Coke winning a close straight set match at No. 2 singles. In the final match, Taft beat host school, D2 Sunnyside, 3-3, 51-40 in games. Coke won at No. 2 singles, Trisha Adams won at No. 3 singles and Coker and Dahlgren won at No. 3 doubles.

“I wanted to play Granite Hills because they made the Division IV Valley finals last year,” Taft coach Jim Carnal said.

“We ended up playing in Division 6 in this tournament. Bakersfield and Ridgeview were down in Division 8. Division 7 or 8 might have been more competitive for us but we got to compete against some very good players and that’s how you get better. The Taft girls all tried their best and I saw a lot of improvement. This tournament helped get us ready for league.”