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Eagles soar to playoff victory

October 31, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

For four years the Southwest High girls tennis team has been the cream of the crop in the Imperial Valley.

Still, there seemed to be something missing.

Sure, Southwest has four consecutive Imperial Valley League titles and has put together a 55-10 overall record and 42-3 record in league play in that time, but what has eluded the Eagles is a CIF playoff victory.

On Tuesday Southwest finally earned its stripes, or its patch, as it defeated Point Loma 11-7 in the first round of the CIF San Diego Section playoffs in El Centro.

"It was our dream to make it to the second round of CIF," said the Eagles No. 2 singles player, Judy Hsu. "This was a great accomplishment, especially for our seniors."


Said Southwest No. 3 singles player Bianca Bonilla: "Coming into this we were thinking that it'd be nice if we'd be able to make it to the second round. And then we finally made it after four years of blood, sweat and tears."

On the singles side, both Bonilla and Hsu won two of three sets with wins over Point Loma's No. 1 Kelley Davey and No. 3 Lauren Oversmith.

Hsu beat Davey 6-4 and Oversmith 6-1 but fell 1-6 to No. 2 Kerri Camberle. Bonilla downed Davey 7-5 and Oversmith 6-1 but was shut out by Camberle 0-6.

Ashmi Ullal, No. 1 for the Eagles, blanked Oversmith 6-0 but fell 3-6 to Davey and 0-6 to Camberle.

Leading the Eagles were their doubles teams, which accounted for seven points.

Southwest's No. 1 duo of Karelisa Jones and Becky Leone defeated Point Loma's No. 1 team of Terry Wedell and Lauren Nelson 6-0 and No. 3 pair Honora Swanson and Becky Evans 6-1 but lost 4-6 to No. 2 team Shirley Walker and Daniel Hienricks.

Breezy Boniface and Kristina Estrada, No. 3 for the Eagles, also won two of three, beating Wedell/Nelson 6-2 and Swanson/Evans 6-3. Boniface/Estrada lost 4-6 to Walker/Hienricks.

The only team to sweep for Southwest was the No. 2 duo of Monnett De La Torre and Kim Slovak as it beat Wedell/Nelson 7-6 (7-5), Walker/Hienricks 6-3 and Swanson/Evans 6-2.

"We came in kind of nervous and really didn't know what to expect," said Slovak. "But we played hard and had really good teamwork."

Said De La Torre: "Even though we hadn't won in CIF before, there really wasn't any pressure on us. We felt like we had nothing to lose.

"When we were playing we felt like it was in our hands and in our grasp. And we were like, ‘Now we gotta grab it.' And we did."

"I was really happy that our girls got this win because they really wanted it. We're just trying to be a good representative for the Valley in CIF," said Southwest coach Genaro Piniero.

The Eagles advance to the second round of the CIF playoffs where they will face San Pasqual in Escondido at 2:30 today.

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