Tuesday marked the start of the Central California Conference singles tournament for Pitman and Turlock, which each sent their top three players to Golden Valley High for one final singles showdown.
Pitman’s Elizabeth Nickerson fell in the first round and both Abi Wilson and Yen Luu made it into the second round before each losing in their respective matches.
Turlock sent Michelle Gomez, Courtnie Chan and Rebekka Cripe.
Only Cripe made it past the second round, eventually setting herself up with a big semifinal victory and a spot in the CCC singles Championship on Thursday.
“The girls genuinely hugged over the net after their matches,” said Pitman head coach Doug Reimers. “Abi [Wilson] also played great and she came off the courts with her love of tennis shinning from her eyes.”
“It was an awesome win. Rebekka [Cripe] played her game. She was confident and patient,” said Turlock head coach Linda Bejaran. “All her hard work and dedication to improving her game was evident today on the court.”
Cripe was 7-3 during the season after a moving from the number one singles player for coach Bejaran to the number two halfway through the year.
Over the last five seasons as coach, Bejaran has sent four players to the CCC championship.
“Hopefully after Thursday we can make it four winners,” said Bejaran.
Cripe had the most consistent outing on Thursday afternoon from the bunch, despite a strong effort from Chan.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Chan sustained a knee injury that sidelined her during the first set in the quarterfinals with a score of 5-6 and deuce point.
“She was quite upset because she is not a quitter and she felt like she was being one. Luckily, after 10 minutes of her knee locking up she was able to walk,” said Bejaran. “We will see how she is tomorrow and see if she is healthy enough to play doubles.”
Cripe opened the day with a 6-1 and 6-3 win over Jamie Illescas of Merced in the first round. She followed this win with a second round victory over Wilson of Pitman, with a score of 6-1, 3-6 and 6-3 before beating Chadue Lee in the semifinal, 1-6, 6-1 and 6-3.
Cripe is scheduled to take on Catrina Valarde from Atwater for the CCC singles title at Golden Valley High at 11 a.m. Thursday. Both also qualify to compete at the CIF tournament in Sacramento.
The CCC doubles are also scheduled to take place at Golden Valley High with a start for Pitman and Turlock at 9 a.m. Thursday.