The Los Osos High girls tennis team got an early start on their day, setting out for Goleta at 8 a.m. Friday morning.
The Grizzlies were no worse for wear though, as they dispatched of host Dos Pueblos, 15-3, to end the Chargers’ season in the second round of the CIF Div. 2 playoffs.
“We talked a lot about it (the travel) ahead of time because we’ve been in this situation before so we took our time getting up here. And then we said we don’t want to drive five hours you know and lose so the girls maintained their focus and they came through,” Los Osos coach Victor Marlen said.
With the loss, Dos Pueblos ends its season with an 11-4 overall record and finished tied for second place in the Channel League alongside San Marcos with a 7-3 mark something senior Annie Field said she will always remember after participating in her final match for the Chargers.
“I’m sad that it (the season) didn’t end on a higher last match note, but this season overall went really well. Tying for second in the league was awesome because last year we only got third and even getting to the second round of CIF was a lot better than last year also,” Field said.
Field noted that she played her best tennis this season but, more importantly, she will remember how connected she was with this team.
“I felt the most connected to the team this year for sure. I don’t know if it was because Danya (Belkin, her doubles partner) and I were captains but it was definitely more inclusive. I’ll definitely remember the team unity was really good this year,” Field said.
Field said that her career coming to an end was “bittersweet” but ultimately it had been “a great four years.”
Los Osos got off to a quick start on Friday, earning five wins in the first round to take a commanding lead including three wins in singles.
At the No. 1 singles court, junior Alessa Somer was matched up against a tough Mia Yo. After holding serve to tie the match at 1-1, Somer lost four of the next five games and fell behind 5-2.
The junior showed her feisty play, however, taking the next two games before ultimately losing 6-4.
Somer earned a win in round two of singles play, beating Nierja Mehta 6-4. That was the only win in singles DP earned on the day.
In doubles, Cami Chou and Romy Greenwald gave the Chargers their only win in the first round, blanking the Grizzlies No. 3 pair, 6-0.
In the next round, Mia Chou and Neve Greenwald also beat the Los Osos pairing in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7).
The Grizzlies No. 1 and No. 2 doubles pair each went 3-0 on the day as the two couplets combined to lose just six games all afternoon. Los Osos won seven doubles sets.
The most impressive player on the court, however, was in singles at the No. 2 court. Los Osos’ senior Henna Levanen went a perfect 3-0 on the day dropping just two games in her first two sets and capped off her evening with a 6-0 victory.
“We could always count on her to set the tone for the rest of the team. She’s just very focused. I tell her she has that eye of the tiger look. She just dials in and goes for it and doesn’t take her foot off the throttle,” Marlen said.
Although DP will lose some talent due to graduation, the Chargers will still return a slate of starters, including Somer, Kate Scherz, sisters Mia and Cami Chou and more.
“We bring back so many starters that I think next year the competition keeps being pushed up. We’ll definitely be fighting more and with all the returning power it will be very motivating,” Housinger said.
Housinger said that although the season coming to an end is sad, she is happy with how the team performed and how much they improved.
“As the season went on, everybody wanted to keep pushing. No one slacked, everyone always competed until the end, and the desire was just there and that made this season so fun to coach,” Housinger said.
“It was a really cool accomplishment for the girls to get a CIF win and keep our season going. Every round you progress, there is tougher competition and today was a reality check, but it was also something to work toward and that is exciting.”