Mira Costa girls tennis team ends 42-year drought, reaches finals with tiebreaking win
By Randy Angel
Mira Costa’s girls tennis team reached has turned in a performance this season that the Mustangs have not seen in more than 40 years.
Coach Joe Ciasulli’s squad will vie for the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship Friday when Mira Costa takes on Dana Hills Friday at 10:30 a.m. at The Claremont Club.
“This year we’ve defeated Dana Hills 13-5 at their place and 4-2 in a tournament down in San Diego, so we have a real opportunity for victory,” Ciasulli said. “However, it is always difficult to defeat a team three times in a year. And certainly the pressure will be much greater this time so the match will come down to who can handle the pressure.”
A victory in the finals would be the first since Mira Costa won back-to-back 3A titles in 1975-76.
The playoff road had not come easy as the Mustangs edged Westlake in the semifinals on Wednesday. With the match tied 9-9, Mira Costa pulled out the victory on games won 83-76.
The power of Mira Costa’s doubles teams was vital in the win with Lindsay Giese-Peyton Douglas, Olga Nagy-Kacey Feng and Hailey Huynh-Sydney Vo winning two sets each. Helping the Mustangs to victory were Nagy and Feng’s 6-1, 6-0 victories.
In singles action, Audrey Vo won two sets and Nicole Wuelfing captured one.
“The match against Westlake was probably the most tense match my teams have ever been involved in, especially because of the significance of the moment,” Ciasulli said. “The match was tied in both sets and games after each of the first and second round and it didn’t look good in the third round for us to pull out a victory. But Nicole Wuelfing upset her opponent to win a critical singles set (which gave us our 9th set) and the doubles teams of Kacey Feng/Olga Nagy and Haily Huynh/Sydney Vo accepted my challenge to not only win their third round match but to shut out their opponents. It was only after the last ball landed out in Nicole’s match that I was able to breathe normally again.”
Olga Nagy/Audrey Vo were Bay League Doubles finalists, advancing to the Round of 16 of the CIF Individual Tennis Championships on Monday, Nov. 19, the furthest any Mira Costa Girls’ doubles team has ever advanced.
In Division 4, Bishop Montgomery had little trouble defeating Temescal Canyon 12-6 with sweeps by Mya Pitts in the singles matches and Cameron Banks/Samara Guillory in doubles action.
Bishop Montgomery will play El Toro for the championship at 1:15 p.m. Friday at The Claremont Club.