The Castilleja varsity tennis team headed on the road to Sacred Heart on Thursday, March 25th to compete in a big rivalry match! This Gator vs Gator match-up has been close many times, but Sacred Heart has been edging out Casti consistently for the past several years, that is, until this year!
Castilleja needed to win at least four matches to clinch the win for the team, and they did so in dramatic fashion. The first win for Castilleja came at #1 doubles, where the sophomore Casti pair, Donya and Paisley, got down in the first set only to storm back and finish their match 6-4, 6-2. The next win for Casti came at #3 doubles, where senior duo, Sierra and Aramis, played beautifully, even without ever playing a match together before. They made quick work out of their straight-set win 6-4, 6-1.
The match got even more interesting from there as Castilleja fell behind in the team score 2-3 with two matches left on, meaning they needed to win both to win the overall match. Julia Z. ’24 battled hard at #1 singles against a tough opponent and closed her match out 6-2, 6-3. It all came down to #4 singles Mariel G. ’21 who played a third set tiebreaker to decide the entire match. She had several match points against her but ultimately won her tiebreaker 12-10, securing the team win for Casti!
Castilleja followed this road match up with a home match against Crystal Springs on Friday, March 26th. This match turned out to be another big league competition that came down to the wire for the Gators!
With wins at #1 singles (Julia 6-1, 6-2), #2 singles (Lucy 0-6, 6-3, tiebreaker 11-9), and #1 doubles (Paisley and Donya 6-0, 6-4), Casti was up 3-2 with two matches to go. Both #2 and #3 doubles went into epic battles both entering third set tiebreakers at the same time. Each team switched sides at the tiebreaker score of 6-6 —that’s how close it was! In the end, it was seniors Aramis and Sierra at #3 doubles to close out their match and give Casti the 4-3 win over Crystal Springs with a final score of 5-7, 6-4, tiebreaker 10-7. Overall, four of the seven matches went to third set tiebreakers against CSUS. It was a nail biter for sure.
Incredible performance by the Gators this week! They showed really great courage in all the big moments. This team is on the rise, improving every single day, and we couldn’t be prouder of this group of student-athletes.