Holding a 3-2 lead toward the end of the first round Monday at Rio Mesa in Oxnard, the Arroyo Grande High girls tennis team needed one more win to head into the second round with all the momentum.
The Eagles got it thanks to a 7-5 doubles win by Brianna Flood and Melina Rodgers, and they then won all but one of the second third of sets for a commanding 9-3 advantage.
They held on to beat the Spartans, 11-7, and advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.
“That was the turning point today,” Eagles coach Lori Hollister said. “That really set the stage, and we had all the energy. The girls really fought off some hard sets today.”
In the win over the Pacific View League champions who were 20-0 coming in, Arroyo Grande’s Sophie Whittle continued her outstanding season, sweeping 6-2, 6-1, 6-0.
The first win by Whittle, the 45th-ranked freshman in Southern California, came over the Spartans’ No. 1 player, Audrey Mayer, the 74th-ranked sophomore in the region.
Eagles teammate Lauren Hayashi also gave Mayer a tough set in a 7-6, tiebreaker loss.
Flood and Rodgers went on to sweep in doubles, winning their last two sets 6-4, 6-2, and Maurisa Dominguez and Alexis Flood won two out of three, 6-4, 6-3.
“It’s very special for us getting to the quarterfinals,” Hollister said.
The Eagles (23-1) will host either third-seeded Sage Hill or San Gabriel at 2 p.m. today for a historic chance to move on to the semifinals.
Malibu 10,San Luis Obispo 8
The Tigers’ season came to an end with the close loss to the fourth-ranked Sharks (17-1) in the Division 3 second-round postseason match held at Pepperdine. They ended with a 15-4 overall record.
San Luis Obispo’s Tori Troesch, who last week signed a letter of intent to play at Portland, swept 6-0, 6-2, 6-1. One of her wins came over the Tri-Valley League champion, Britta Mosser, a junior who’s also being recruited at the Division I level.
“She played the best she’s played all season,” coach Gary Etheredge said of Troesch.
The Tigers’ Abigail Will also had a winning day, taking two sets, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).
In doubles, Lauren Hutkin and Joelle Lewis had 6-3, 6-4 wins.
“I thought we played with a tremendous amount of heart today,” Etheredge said.