Taft loses by one in Tuesday match

The Taft High varsity girls’ tennis team lost the battle for the league to undefeated perennial powerhouse Bakersfield Christian, 5-4, on Tuesday.

Taft’s JV team beat BCHS here, 7-2, for Taft’s third straight league title.

“The varsity match was close. Lupita Lozano won at No. 2, but Taylan Erro lost 13-11 in a third-set tiebreaker at No. 1 and Gloria Okafor, playing up a spot at No. 5, lost, 7-6, 6-2, so we lost after the singles round,” coach Jim Carnal lamented.

“BCHS is 9-0 and will go undefeated in league. They are just about one top player better than us. We are 9-2 and will go 12-2 for second place and Wasco will end up 10-4 for third.

We are just about one top player better than the Tigers. The South Sequoia League in tennis is a tale of two skill levels with the rest of the teams fighting for a distant fourth.”

In the No. 1 singles game, McKenzie Berkshire got revenge for an earlier loss and held on to beat Taft’s Taylan Erro, who was undefeated in league, 6-4, 3-6, 13-11. Likewise, Taft’s Lupita Lozano got revenge for her only loss in league when she beat Briana Morris, 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 10-4. Abby Williams of BCHS was too steady for Roxi Barboza, 6-1, 6-2.

Taft’s Haven Cook was sick so everyone had to play up a spot. The Eagles’ Taylor Touchstone torched Jen Rivera, 6-0, 6-0.
Taft’s Gloria Okafor had won at No. 6 in the first meeting, but fell to No. 5 Kristen Kaing, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. Taft’s Karina Amaya lost to Brittany Aguilar, 6-1, 6-1.

With the league championship returned to BCHS from Taft (the 2012 SSL champions), BCHS coach Frank Thiessen played his number 8-11 players in doubles.

Taft swept the doubles. Erro and Lozano beat Aguilar and Anika Tanus, 6-3, 6-2.

Barboza and Okafor beat Monique Oja and Annie Verhoef, 6-1, 6-2.

And, Griselda Ramos and Liliana Noriega, moved up from No .1 JV to replace Cook, came from behind to beat Taylor Lazaruk and Caroline Stone, 3-6, 6-1, 10-2.

Taft is 13-4 overall. BCHS is 14-3 overall.

In the JV match, Taft had to win without former No. 1 Noriega. BCHS won the top two singles matches.

Margaux Hein beat Paige Gaylord, 6-3, 6-1. Angie Gruggett held on to beat Destany Rocha, 6-1, 2-6, 14-12.
Taft swept the rest of the matches. Kyrsten Davis outlasted Tessa Touchstone, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.

Willow Owen bageled Natalie Bloemhof, 6-0, 6-0. Cooper Mainard beat Kaylee Curless, 6-4, 6-4. Tory Parkinson beat Sofiape Los Santos, 6-2, 6-0.

    In a big doubles win, Gaylord and Davis outlasted Hein and Gruggett, 6-2, 5-7, 11-9. Rocha and Owen handled Los Santos and Hanna Lewis, 6-1, 6-1. And Luzelena Cisneros and Kira Swope took care of Daisy Gutierrez and Alesha Jex, 6-1, 6-1.

    Taft’s JV improved to 16-4 overall; 10-1 in the SSL.