EBAL Tennis update

We pride ourselves here at the Times on our Friday night rolling scoreboard for football scores, so I thought I’d offer my version of it for the world of girls tennis. In a rather large East Bay Athletic League matchup, Monte Vista threw a wrench into San Ramon Valley’s plans for EBAL dominance by defeating the Wolves 6-3 on Thursday afternoon. This is, of course, the first match after SRV’s historic win over Foothill on Tuesday. Katie Mulloy beat Mia Giovanetti in No. 1 singles but the Mustangs took four of the five other singles matches.

What this means in the big picture is that pending a Foothill win today, all three teams sit at 5-1 in EBAL play. That tie will be broken next Tuesday when Monte Vista and Foothill lock up but honestly, does it get any better than the EBAL in girls tennis?


Tennis Shakeup

So, big news in the world of girls tennis yesterday with San Ramon Valley pulling the upset over Foothill. No surprise that Kerri Kummer won her match, and actually Foothill won the top three singles matches. So I for one would like to extend some congratulations to the Wolves’ No. 4 singles player Michelle Keysar and all three doubles teams because this was a huge TEAM win. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking about tennis as an individual sport: yesterday’s victory for the Wolves reminds us that the team standings do still matter. Read a brief recap of the day’s events here.

More from local girls tennis, as Piedmont defeated Albany 6-1 in Bay Shore Athletic League action. Piedmont as a team is very good but the performance of the day came from Albany sophomore Elena Pan when she defeated Olivia Stutz in the No. 1 singles match. Pan is one of a trio of sophomores that the Cougars are featuring in the No. 1, 2, and 3 singles spots. Pan, Caroline Leon-Williams, and Yuan Feng are all going to get better and from what I saw yesterday, they’ll be worth watching in the future. You can read about Pan’s victory here.

In other leagues, the BVAL seems to have evolved into a race between Carondelet and Clayton Valley for league supremacy. I would imagine that the Cougars are quite happy that they faced the Eagles in the first week of league play and I might also speculate that the Cougars 7-0 win isn’t really indicative of what the teams are like now. The ACCAL looks to be a race between Berkeley, Alameda, and Pinole and the DFAL looks like a Miramonte, Campolindo, and Northgate fight to the finish. We’re in the meat of the league season now, so things are certainly getting interesting.


In a familiar spot

You may have been surprised to learn that the De La Salle High School football team jumped from No. 4 in USA Today’s National Rankings last week, to No. 1 this week. This was despite the No. 2 and 3 teams in the poll, Byrnes-Duncan (S.C.) and Lakeland (Fla.), winning its games on Friday.

Needless to say, fans of Byrnes and Lakeland were quick to express their disappointment in the latest rankings. But national polls are a tricky business, and shouldn’t really be taken too seriously. For instance, Byrnes barely beat an unranked Moeller-Cincinnati team at the Kirk Herbstreit Challenge on Sept. 16. Moeller was the No. 10 team in Ohio, and here they were giving what was supposedly one of the best teams in the country all it could handle. Also, if you remember, De La Salle was USA Today’s No. 1 team at the start of the 2004 season. But it became apparent that the Spartans were nowhere close to being that good at that time, as they started the season 0-2-1.

You hear coaches and players of other teams around the country talking about how this or that is going to affect their national ranking. Coaches are scheduling high-profile out-of-state games to boost their national ranking and to get in the running for a mythical national championship. The funny thing is, you never heard the coaches at De La Salle talking about how scheduling Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly or Mission Viejo could give them a shot a national title. But the fact that Spartans played in so many high-profile games while winning national titles in 1998 and from 2000-2003 has led others to believe that you have to do the same thing. 

The bottom line is, De La Salle may or may not be the best team in the country. All polls are subjective, regardless of how much work and research goes into them. I’m of the opinion that because their defense has allowed over 300 yards a game so far, the Spartans are not there just yet. But if the defense shines in a win over Mission Viejo Saturday, then De La Salle can probably lay claim to being the best in the country once again.