HOLTVILLE — The Holtville Vikings girls’ tennis team hosted the Central Spartans in their final match of the season on Wednesday afternoon. The Spartans overcame the Vikings with a 13-5 score.
As the fall season comes to a close, the seniors bid farewell to their teammates and tennis career. Among those seniors is Central Spartan Kalani Farias, who won two out of her three matches.
“The first match was tough,” Farias said. “My serving was not the best but I am just trying to focus on my strengths, which include my backhands.”
“For me, it is all about calming myself down in-between matches and staying consistent all around, she said.”
As the number 2 singles player for the Spartans, Farias will have the opportunity to compete for an IVL finals spot next week.
Headlining the Spartans’ singles roster is junior Alynna Figueroa, who won all three of her matches.
“This season, there were great wins but also losses that I learned from,” Figueroa said.
“Overall, it was great playing with this team,” she said. “I am working on being more consistent and having fun because it is the last game and (the last) season for some of the girls.”
As Figueroa enters the postseason, the young Spartan will have her work cut out for her against a stacked Vincent Memorial team. Yet Figueroa has shown that she can handle the pressure.
“Going into next week, it is about being more confident, working on return shots, and competing,” Figueroa said. “As a player, you respect your opponent and look forward to those types of matches.”
With one season left, Figueroa is focused on improving as a singles player.
For Holtville Viking Yasmin Corral the season was about figuring out how to become a singles player. Corral finished the day by winning one out of three matches.
“Coming into the season I knew I wanted to challenge myself to play singles, and it has been a great experience,” Corral said. “Playing singles tested me but it also encouraged me to grow as a player. I would call it a success.”
As one of the seniors for the Vikings, Corral is looking forward to postseason play and leaving it all on the court. Like any competitor, Corral said she enjoys fighting hard for every point and win.
“It is a little bittersweet because it is all coming to an end, but for the most part, I have enjoyed the experience,” she said. “My favorite memories are not from winning but from being able to push myself during tough matches. ”
The Vikings’ Ellie Turner knows, as competitors, it is important to focus on what you can control. Turner finished the day by winning one out of three matches.
“My goal is to get myself on the board and not go 0-6 in all three matches, so I try to focus on that before going into any match,” Turner said. “I have been competitive in every match, which is big for me, so hopefully this carries over to IVLS and next season.”
As the Vikings prepare for the postseason, their focus is on footwork and getting to the ball. For head coach George McClure the goal is keeping the ball alive and keeping the rally going.
This match marked the last regular season game for both teams.
On Tuesday October 18, all local teams will meet for the IVL Preliminary round.
Both Central and Holtville expect to have a few singles players in the mix, and both have the potential to reach the IVL Finals on Wednesday, October 19.