Rocklin girls tennis defeats Del Oro in league opener

Senior pair double down
By: Amanda Calzada/Placer Herald Correspondent
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LOOMIS _ Playing under the lights on courts surrounded by spectators the Rocklin and Del Oro No. 1 doubles teams in tennis battled it out to see which school would claim the opening match in Sierra Foothill League play last week. Thunder seniors Christina Dyok and Rachel Kim broke a 1-1 tie in sets to clip the Golden Eagles in the final round to win the match and give Rocklin a 5-4 victory. “I’m so proud of Rachel and I and our team for the victory over Del Oro, said Dyok. “Rachel and I set several goals for our senior year including beating Del Oro. “ Dyok and Kim took the first set 6-2. They lost the second 7-6 after battling back from a 2-5 deficit. The duo then regrouped to take the third set 6-3. Rocklin’s No. 1 singles player Shelby Kubota finished off Del Oro’s Camilla Ahlguist 6-0 in the second set. “Shelby works three hours a day on her game in addition to her three AP classes in an effort to advance her game,” said head coach Dale Eckenburg. Eckenburg said the performance was one of Kubota’s top matches of the year, as she worked “the baseline while playing a solid net game.” Rocklin carried the momentum through the matches played by sophomores Anna Bothe (6-2, 6-2) and Lexi Yates (6-1, 7-6). They came off the court with matching two-set victories to give the Thunder an early 3-0 lead. The Eagles retaliated with wins in the No. 2, No. 4, and No. 6 singles matches to tie the score 3-3. With the pressure mounting for the doubles competition, Rocklin’s No.3 doubles team came up a bit short. Then in the No. 2 spot, the team of senior Taylor McDougall and junior Alyssa Mattchen gave the Thunder a victory to even the score. “From the first point, they hit all the right shots,” said Eckenburg, who was impressed with the serves of McDougall and Mattchen to claim the eighth match 6-3, 6-2. After Dyok and Kim’s victory in the final match to clinch the win, Rocklin sang the school’s fight song to celebrate. “You have to love it when you have two seniors playing for the match under the pressure of your team and the spectators,” said Eckenburg. Eckenburg added that he couldn’t be more proud of the girls and the effort they invested.