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Published September 24th, 2014
Girls' High School Tennis Swinging Strong
Jessalyn Simon-Parker Photo Gint Federas

The Lamorinda high school girls' tennis teams have been working hard since August, refining their strokes and strategies. Their efforts are beginning to be tested in league play, which started last week.
Miramonte (6-1) has started strong, defeating their first two league opponents, Alhambra and Dublin, 9-0.
Coach Michael McCollum acknowledges that the competition will only get tougher. "It sure looks like Dougherty Valley is the best team in NorCal and could very well defend their NCS title. Acalanes will certainly have a strong group making the DFAL one of the power conferences in NorCal," he said.
As in years past, Miramonte enjoys deep talent. "We have a very experienced team with eight seniors, led by captains Taylor James, Cece Andrews and Jen Stanten," McCollom explained. Two all-conference juniors, three all-conference sophomores, and three solid freshmen round out the squad.
Miramonte looks to best last year's quarterfinal finish in NCS. "The Mats look forward to returning to the NCS team tournament and we hope to reach the semis," McCollom said.
Campolindo heads into a second year of rebuilding after graduating seven seniors. In 2013, the Cougars lost 13 seniors, but still finished fourth in the league.
"We ended the year in the middle of DFAL [standings]," coach Steve Robinson said. "The girls did improve steadily throughout the year which is always our goal."
This year, Campo will concentrate on gaining experience and getting better. "[Because] this year's team is still young and inexperienced, the team will look to returning seniors and varsity players Emma Price, Sophia Marino, Grace Roberts, and Nicole Finney to provide leadership and mentoring for the younger players," Robinson continued.
Coach Sunun Faulkner added, "As a re-building team, making the team spirit, being a "family," and being a good citizen while improving the skills are more of the focus rather than just winning matches."
Despite being young, Campo is off to a great start, winning their first two league matches against Dublin (8-1) and Alhambra (9-0).
Acalanes' team is built of 12 returning varsity players, four top junior varsity players who moved up, and two "very strong" freshmen who were added. "Our more seasoned seniors and juniors are already showing great leadership potential, which will just add to the cohesiveness and spirit of this already positive group of girls," said head coach Ellie Kann.
Last year, Acalanes (0-5) finished 10-8 overall and earned the No. 12 seed in their first showing in the North Coast Section tournament in more than a decade. Last year, junior Isabella von Ebbe led the Dons, placing fourth overall in singles in the NCS.
The Dons struggled with consistency in their doubles line, however. Kann explained, "This year our talent will be more evenly distributed from top to bottom. We hope to work on learning more doubles strategies and establish consistent[ly] strong doubles partners."
So far this season, the Dons have faced stiff competition. They suffered a regular season loss to Las Lomas, 2-7. While the team sustained some early losses, the coaches remain unfazed.
"We expect to be competitive this season with the depth and versatility of our players," Kann said.

Quinn Harrington

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