Varsity defeats Lady Tigers by three

The Taft High varsity girls’ tennis team made it a season sweep of the Wasco Tigers Thursday. The 6-3 Wildcat win brought Taft’s league record to 9-1 and set up a showdown at 3 p.m. Tuesday at undefeated Bakersfield Christian.

Taft’s JV team also beat Wasco 6-3 to virtually assure that Taft wins its third consecutive league title. Taft avenged an earlier 6-3 loss to Wasco and sits atop the league standings at 9-1. Wasco, 8-2, also lost to BCHS and is set to finish in second place.

Taft’s varsity won four of the six singles matches. Taylan Erro beat Arianna Acevedo, 6-2, 6-1. Lupita Lozana beat Serena Contreras, 6-2, 6-4. And in a key match, Roxi Barboza avenged an earlier loss to Brenda Barraza with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 win. Wasco’s athletic freshman Sam Martinez beat Haven Cook, 6-3, 6-0, and Kassandra Martin shut out Taft’s Jen Rivera, 6-0, 6-0. But Taft’s Gloria Okafor beat Stephanie Acevedo, 6-1, 6-3.

In the doubles round, Taft just needed to win one of the three to win the entire match. Taft got off to a bad start when Okafor and Karina Amaya lost to Martin and Alicia Vidales, 6-1, 6-1. The other two matches were close but Taft won them both. Erro and Lozano came from behind to beat Arianna Acevedo and Martinez, 3-6, 6-3, 10-4. And, No. 4 Cook and No. 8 Griselda Ramos beat No. 2 Contreras and No. 6 Cara Hudson, 6-4, 6-3.

Taft improved to 13-3 overall. Wasco dropped to 6-5 overall and 5-4 for third place in the SSL.

In the JV match, Wasco again swept the top three singles. Brianna Patterson beat Liliana Noriega, 6-3, 6-4. Rosa Bustamonte beat Paige Gaylord, 6-3, 6-3. And Janely Lara beat Destany Rocha, 6-4, 6-1. The rest of the matches were close but Taft swept them. Kyrsten Davis came from behind to beat Areli Lopez, 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. Willow Owen beat Jocelyn Lule, 6-2, 6-2. And, Ruby Stith beat Therese Azevedo, 6-2, 6-4.

In doubles, Noriega and Rocha beat Patterson and Bustamonte in three tiebreaker sets, 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (5-7), 10-8. Gaylord and Davis beat Lara and Lopez in three sets, 6-2, 0-6, 10-7. And, Cooper Mainard and Tory Parkinson handled Karla Alcantor and Alex Biggs, 6-1, 6-1.

Taft’s JV improved to 15-4 overall. The JV team will host BCHS at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Both Taft teams travel to Robert F. Kennedy High School for a 4 p.m. match Thursday.