Eagles gold on the court

Posted 4/24/10

Courtney Johnson Despite losing seven of 11 of their top players to graduation this season, Mountain Vista High School girls tennis is shaping up to …

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Eagles gold on the court


Courtney Johnson

Despite losing seven of 11 of their top players to graduation this season, Mountain Vista High School girls tennis is shaping up to have just as successful a season as last year.

Prior to its final three Continental League matches against Douglas County, Rangeview and Heritage, the team was 7-2 overall. Last year they finished 9-2.

“We had our best year last year,” coach Susan Cash said. “We are looking as solid if not more this year.”

Retaining their top four players, including all three of their top singles players has been key. Senior No. 1 singles player Sam Lifpitz was 6-2 overall, prior to Douglas County, and hoping to finish her senior year off with a trip to state after not making it last season.

Despite getting a phone call about Cal Poly cutting its tennis program, which she signed a national letter of intent to play for, immediately after her first match of the season, she was able to leave the stress off the court.

“It was overwhelming, and I was flustered about what to do,” she said. “Thankfully, I was able to commit to play for [University of North Carolina], which I think will work out for the better.”

Returning second and third singles players and seniors Megan Hyatt and Brooke Murphy were both 7-1 before facing the Huskies. Both have had a great season which they chalk up to in an increase in confidence.

“It has gone better every season for me, and I am not intimidated when I go out there and face good players as I have been able to match up and play my game,” Hyatt said.

“I have been able to meet new challenges and overcome obstacles I haven’t in the past,” Murphy said.

The team is what Cash calls a good class mix.

“We have players that are freshmen and players that are seniors,” she said. “This gives the team room to grow, while we continue to build momentum and develop year after year. Our seniors this year have really stepped up as leaders and have carried their examples a whole step forward for the whole team not just varsity. There is a huge amount of integrity at the top and the girls have really made it fun for everyone.”

Their No. 1 doubles team of freshman Analise Marshall and sophomore Alissa Minatta were undefeated going into the final three matches, including a big win against Ponderosa and at the Phil Cross Tournament.

“They have the heart to take it all the way,” Cash said. “They have great potential to do that.”

The Eagles are hoping for a strong finish for the rest of the season, including three straight wins, success at regionals and qualifying the whole team for state.

“The girls have such a strong work ethic,” Cash said. “We have 55 girls on the team, and whether they are a part of our developing or competitive squad, they are never just standing around and are always working.”

The team’s mind-set may prove to be that extra “oomph” they need.

“We have put the expectation out there that we don’t expect perfection, but we do expect the girls to give it their best whatever it might be that day in practice and games,” Cash said. “Practice means permanent not perfect.”

As far as their graduating seniors, they are hoping to go out with top performances at state.

“We want to create a legacy,” Hyatt said.

“I hope we create a name for the next up and coming teams, so other players think that Vista is a great team,” Lifpitz said.


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