Lady Wildcats will face Liberty of Madera Tuesday in the championship match
The Taft High girls’ varsity tennis team will host Liberty of Madera in the Valley Division IV finals at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Last year, the Wildcats lost in the Valley finals, 9-0, to a dominant Bakersfield Christian team led by two-time defending champion Chelby Cooke and Jimmi Futrell, No. 5 in the Valley.
But this year, Taft swept BCHS in the regular season and the Eagles moved up to Division III, where they host Ridgeview in the D3 Valley finals at 2:30 p.m. today.
Taft is seeded No. 1 and will face a Liberty team that has won Division V the past two years and was moved up to Division IV this year.
To get to the finals, Taft beat the No. 4 seeded Woodlake Tigers, 6-3, on Thursday, while Liberty beat No. 3 seed Strathmore, 5-4.
Taft’s No. 1 Ana Estrada fell to Woodlake’s Selena Harrison, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Taylan Erro held on to beat Dalila Vasquez, 6-2, 4-6, 10-8. Yeraldin Barrera lost to Joee Denis, 6-3, 6-2.
But Taft won the bottom three singles matches. Diana Medina was the first one off the court with an emphatic, 6-1, 6-2 win over Paris Carlsen. Gloria Hartley beat Selena Ramirez, 6-4, 6-2. And, in a key win, Lupita Lozano held on to beat Xochitl Quezada, 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 10-7.
In a battle of league doubles champions, Taft lost the No. 1 doubles to Harrison and Vasquez, 6-2, 6-3. But it was all Taft after that. Erro and Medina disposed of Denis and Carlsen, 6-0, 6-0. And, Roxi Barboza and JC Yarbrough dispatched Regina Lewis and Briana Romero, 6-0, 6-1.
Taft improved to 22-4. Woodlake finished 16-6.