Overwhelmed in doubles by the fifth-ranked girls tennis team in Division 3 of the CIF-Southern Section, San Luis Obispo High saw its season come to an end Tuesday afternoon in an 11-7 loss to Sage Hill of Newport Beach.
The defeat, however, didn’t stop the Tigers’ top two singles players from continuing their impressive junior seasons in the quarterfinals of the divisional playoffs.
San Luis Obispo’s Tori Troesch and Abigail Will, who’ve combined to win the past three PAC 7 singles championships, both swept their three sets. Troesch won 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, while Will went 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
Two weekends ago, Troesch won her first league title, 6-3, 7-5, over Will. Will had won the same championship as a freshman, 7-5, 6-1, and then as a sophomore, 6-1, 6-2, facing none other than Troesch each time.
“We like it that way, because that means we’re both going to the finals and no one else is,” Will said of annually having a teammate be the next-best player in the league.
“We compete together every day,” Will said of Troesch, a friend with whom she has played for four years, “so it’s no different (in a league championship setting). We’re happy for each other when we win.”
Troesch and Will — each rated as a three-star college prospect by TennisRecruiting.net — will compete at Friday’s single-elimination Southern Section individual qualifiers at Cate High in Carpinteria.
“Our players are tournament-tough,” San Luis Obispo coach Gary Etheredge said. “They’re used to playing a high level of competition.”After making it to the individual championships in both their freshman and sophomore seasons, Troesch and Will are looking to make it beyond the first round this time.
“It’s really tough competition,” Troesch said, “so even getting past the first round is a big accomplishment.”
San Luis Obispo was the final county team still alive in the playoffs. The Tigers, a year removed from a run to the divisional title match at Claremont Tennis Club, finished the season 14-6 overall.
On Tuesday, the Tigers also picked up a 6-3 singles win from India Hoffman. In doubles, San Luis Obispo’s Lili Voisinet and Lela Heza barely lost in two sets, falling 7-5, 7-6 (8-6).
Sage Hill (18-6), which didn’t lose a set in doubles play, advanced to meet top-seeded West Ranch of Valencia in the semifinals.
“Their doubles was really strong today,” Troesch said of Sage Hill. “It wasn’t a matter of our doubles didn’t play well, it was that their doubles were really good all the way down the line. I don’t think anyone should be disappointed about how they played, because every-one played to their potential.
“Next year will be fun, too,” Troesch said, adding, “we’ll miss all of our seniors.”