Turlock High, the top seeded Central California Conference girls tennis team, dropped its first Division I Sac-Joaquin Section team playoff match to St. Francis High at home Tuesday afternoon. The Bulldogs managed only one match victory,1-8, against a Troubadours team with talent to spare.
“I always know that when we reach the team playoffs the caliber of play gets better,” Turlock head coach Linda Bejaran said. “I was expecting them to be tough.”
Freshman Abi Wilson emerged as the only victorious Bulldog of the day with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Eden Elliot in the sixth singles match to keep a stellar first-year high school season intact.
“She’s been undefeated all year, in all our pre-matches, scrimmages, and everything,” Bejeran said of Wilson. “The other coach said she was a wall.”
Maddy Hillis had the second best performance by a Turlock player in the second singles match against Kendall Spector where she forced the match into three sets (6-0, 4-6, 6-0). The rest of the Bulldog squad lost their matches in straight sets.
“Their team had more match experience than my team,” Bejeran said. “But they all gave 100 percent today. All of them came off the court and felt good about the way they played.”
Turlock’s best player, CCC singles champion Jillian Temple, had a rough outing against Avery Spector as she was able to win only one game. Still, Bejeran expects Temple to shake off the loss in time for a good performance in Thursday’s Division I Individual Sac-Joaquin Section Singles tournament at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville.
“She’s got it all in her toolbox, but sometimes she loses focus and gets frustrated and rushes her game,” Bejeran said of Temple. “She has the talent and the ability, sometimes she just needs to trust in herself and her game.”
Hillis and Lauren Carlson will also be competing in the two-day tournament as a doubles team.
Brackets have yet to be determined as coaches will literally draw names from a hat Thursday morning to decide the lineup.
“We won’t have an idea who we’ll be playing until we get up there,” Bejeran said.