Lady Wildcats defeat Wasco by seven on the road

 The Taft High varsity girls’ tennis team remained undefeated in league with an 8-1 win over the Wasco Tigers there Thursday. Taft’s JV team also remained undefeated in league with a 6-3 win here.

The matches were closer than the final scores indicated, Taft coach Jim Carnal said. The No. 1 singles match was a marathon affair that went into double overtime. Taft’s Ana Estrada was not feeling 100 percent but fought to the end and just lost to Esmi Castro, 6-3, 5-7, 11-9.  In the third-set tiebreaker, Estrada fought back for 0-5 to tie the match at 9-9 before losing the final two points.

Taft swept the rest of the matches. Taylan Erro double bageled Carisssa Gomez, 6-0, 6-0. Yeraldin Barrera beat Brenda Barraza, 6-1, 6-1.

Senior Gloria Hartley fought off a scrappy freshman, Kassandra Martin, 6-3, 6-1. Hartley got off to a bad start at 1-3 before running 11 of the next 12 games. “I was down 1-3 then I fixed it,” she said matter-of-factly. Junior Lupita Lozano also fended off a competitive freshman, Arianna Acevedo, 6-1, 6-2. At No. 6 singles, Melissa Gore was in a dogfight. She got down 1-4 to Nancy Vera before running five games to take the first set, 6-4, but then lost the second set, 6-3, before holding on to win the third-set tiebreaker, 10-3.

The No. 1 doubles match was also very competitive. Erro and Barrera won the first five games of the eight-game pro set. But then Castro and Gomez roared back, winning the next six games.

“I talked to the girls about being more aggressive and consistent and they ran the final three games to win 8-6,” Carnal said.

Diana Medina and Lozano beat Serena Contreras and Cara Hudson, 6-2, 6-0. And, Roxi Barboza and JC Yarbrough beat Acevedo and Alicia Vidales, 6-1, 6-4.

Taft improved to 9-0 in the South Sequoia League; 12-3 overall. Wasco, on pace to finish third in league, dropped to 5-3 in the SSL and 5-6 overall.

Taft’s JV team won, but had their hands full. Number 1 Haven Cook beat Rosa Bustamante, 6-3, 6-0. Jen Rivera beat Briana Patterson, 6-2, 6-4. Gloria Okafor beat Chelsea Colde, 6-2, 6-1. Then it got interesting. Maria Sanchez lost an overtime match to Evelyn Hernandez, 0-6, 6-4, 10-6. Liliana Noriega handled Briana Martin, 6-1, 6-1, but Karina Amaya lost in straight sets to Janelly Lara, 6-2, 6-3.
In doubles, Cook and Rivera finally prevailed in three sets over Bustamante and Colde, 4-6, 6-2, 10-6. Number 3 Okafor and No. 7 Paige Gaylord beat No. 2 Patterson and No. 4 Hernandez, 6-3, 6-2. Taft’s Stephanie Torres and Destany Rocha lost toArianna Rios and Alicia Aguilar, 6-4, 6-1.

Taft’s JV improved to 12-6 overall; 8-0 in the SSL.