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Falcons duo shines in doubles match motion | Ladies Tennis – Press Banner

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Scotts Valley senior Emma Dyc-O’Neal and sophomore Sofia Niklaus had been busy this season dealing with enterprise on the tennis courtroom as two of the highest singles gamers for the women’ Falcons workforce.

Nonetheless, issues took a tiny twist once they paired as much as compete on the Central Coast Part Ladies Tennis Doubles Championships at Bay Membership Courtside in Los Gatos on Nov. 15.

Dyc-O’Neal and Niklaus had been eradicated within the second spherical by the No. 3-seeded doubles workforce of Nadia Lee and Anika Malik of Cupertino Excessive in two units (6-1, 6-0).

“It was positively a brand new expertise since we by no means went out of league [play],” Dyc-O’Neal stated. “It was thrilling however it was positively a complete completely different degree of play up there … They had been good however they had been simply so significantly better than us.”

The mighty Falcons duo did soar, nevertheless, for a first-round win towards the unseeded doubles workforce of Rachel Chen and Amy Tran of Piedmont Hills Excessive in two units (6-4, 6-3).

Niklaus stated it was good to have the ability to squeak by within the first spherical however knew it might be tough to advance any additional.

Previous to the CCS tourney, Dyc-O’Neal and Niklaus received the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Doubles Championship at Imperial Courts in Aptos on Nov. 3.

The Falcons duo beat Aptos Excessive’s top-seeded doubles workforce of Madison Phillips and Jillian Beltran in two units (6-3, 6-4) for this system’s first league title and CCS look since 2015.

Dyc-O’Neal stated her and Niklaus are each athletic and versatile with what they might do on the courtroom, particularly as a result of they usually play in singles matches.

“We communicated effectively and we had been each fairly optimistic, so we stayed pleased,” Dyc-O’Neal stated. “Sofia’s fairly good on the web and he or she’s tall, so she will be able to get stuff, and I’ve good floor strokes.”

Dyc-O’Neal was within the No. 1 singles place for the Falcons and Niklaus stayed on the No. 4 spot through the common season.

Scotts Valley coach Scott Goodrich stated each gamers are nice athletes who’re additionally studs on the women’ lacrosse workforce.

“Each gamers are cellular and so they have good abilities general,” he stated.

Niklaus—who earned All Pacific Coast Athletic League Lacrosse First Staff honors—performs tennis for simply two months out of the 12 months.

Nonetheless, she talked about that having an skilled associate similar to Dyc-O’Neal has made her job considerably simpler.

“It is useful for me as a result of she is aware of loads,” Niklaus stated. “She She will train me and it type of advantages our complete workforce.”

Going into the season, Goodrich had an thought they’d be a aggressive workforce within the SCCAL due to returning gamers similar to seniors Veronica Farquhar, Olivia Johnston and Dyc-O’Neal.

Farquhar stated she needed to complete the season sturdy and method the season in good spirits, actually attempting to provide it their all.

“I might say we had been in a position to play effectively as a result of we simply get alongside as a workforce generally and we’re all searching for one another, which I consider is basically essential,” she stated.

The Falcons ended the primary spherical of league play undefeated, together with a giant win towards Aptos that gave Scotts Valley momentum within the remaining stretch of the season.

Johnston believes this 12 months’s group had a greater bond with one another and observed extra individuals had been targeted each time it was time to play.

“Exhibiting as much as follow on time, simply the small issues like that I feel led us to extra success in our earlier years,” she stated.

The Falcons completed with an 11-2 general document and had been 9-1 in league play, tied with Aptos. Each groups had been pressured to a one-match playoff to find out a league champion.

Scotts Valley was edged by Aptos, 4-3, within the Oct. 31 winner-take-all match at Soquel Excessive College.

“Everybody labored onerous, everybody improved and we had enjoyable every step of the best way,” Goodrich stated. “We’ll definitely miss our seniors who offered nice management however trying ahead, we have got an incredible group coming again so the longer term is vivid.”

The varsity workforce was simply 13 gamers deep, which is the bottom turnout in Goodrich’s third 12 months with this system. On common he had as much as 17 gamers in 2020 and ’21, ending 4-6 and 6-4 in league play, respectively.

They could have had a small drop off however he believes it is nonetheless a pleasant mix of expertise together with juniors Samantha Warner and Maya Bensen, sophomore Erin Szymanski and senior Oona Poikonen—an change pupil from Finland who had by no means picked up a tennis racket earlier than becoming a member of the workforce.

Goodrich additionally realized they’d a powerful group of freshmen in Julia Kennedy, Maya Wexler and Riya Kuriakose who had been added into the combination, as effectively.

“Early on within the season I made a observe to one among my assistant coaches that this workforce could be very targeted and really mature,” Goodrich stated.

Stella Chaney, a junior, stated she felt the seniors had been good leaders this 12 months and actually introduced the group collectively.

Not solely had been the upperclassmen nice gamers however they made it really feel like an in depth bond with everybody, she stated.

“It positively creates a extra supportive atmosphere and it is a part of the explanation we did so effectively this season and why it was so enjoyable,” Chaney stated.

Farquhar, who was on the workforce all 4 years, was at all times trying ahead to seeing acquainted faces, in addition to new faces.

There was a way of nostalgia when she was a freshman, strolling in and seeing how some issues have modified and others stayed the identical.

“All of it’s simply actually touching and essential to me,” Farquhar stated. “Totally different practices and looking out ahead to it, and being obsessed with it, I feel actually mirrored in all of our enjoying.”

The Scotts Valley Excessive women’ tennis workforce completed with an 11-2 general document and had been 9-1 in SCCAL play this season. (contributed)

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