Varsity Girls Tennis

Palo Alto 4, St. Francis 3

Date of competition: Friday, November 14, 2008

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The Palo Alto girls' tennis team will get a chance at revenge and earn a berth into the NorCal Championships all at the same time on Monday. That's when the No. 3-seeded Vikings (21-3) will take on No. 2 Saratoga (20-2) in the semifinals of the Central Coast Section team tournament.
This will be Paly's first time in the section semis in coach Andy Harader's 11 years with the team.
Paly and Saratoga will square off for a third time this season in the noon semifinal at Courtside Tennis Club in Los Gatos. At stake will be a berth in Wednesday's championship match and an automatic pass into the NorCal tournament.
Palo Alto has dropped a pair of 4-3 decisions to Saratoga this season, but earned a third shot at the Falcons by holding off No. 6 St. Francis (15-9) on Friday, 4-3. Paly's No. 1 doubles team of Emma Marti and Margo Gerould posted a 6-0, 1-6, 6-2 victory to clinch the victory at 4-2. Kelly Chui of St. Francis, the No. 1 player in girls' 18s in Northern California, gave the Lancers their final point with a 6-1, 6-7, 13-11 win over Paly sophomore Janet Liu. It was only Liu's first loss of the season.
Paly coach Andy Harader fashioned his lineup around his doubles teams and it paid off with three victories. He received a bonus when sophomore Mira Khanna, who normally plays No. 4 singles, moved up to No. 2 and won there, 6-3, 6-4.
"That was a very important win," Harader said of Khanna's victory. "She's done that twice this week."
Khanna also won at No. 2 in a 6-1 victory over Notre Dame-Belmont on Wednesday. Marti, another sophomore who has played at No. 2 singles throughout the year, was moved into doubles recently and has yet to lose. She believes her team has a good chance of ending its two-match losing streak to Saratoga. The revenge factor, of course, is important.
"Very important," said Marti, "because we've lost to them twice before."
The other reason, Marti said, is that Paly's lineup is different than in the first two matches with Saratoga and is perhaps stronger now.
"We can this this time," she said.

posted by keith peters on Nov 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Comments: 5

St. Francis
Palo Alto
Singles: Chui (SF) d. Liu, 6-1, 6-7, 13-11; M. Khanna (PA) d. A. Pratt, 6-3, 6-4; O'Haren (SF) d. Biffar, 6-4, 6-2; Motro (SF) d. Dulik, 6-3, 6-4.
Doubles: Marti-Gerould (PA) d. Nose-Steinhilber, 6-0, 1-6, 6-2; V. Khanna-Ke (PA) d. S. Emerson-K. Emerson, 6-4, 6-2; Koepnick-Mah (PA) d. Ng-Guidace, 6-3, 6-2.
Records: St. Francis 15-9; Palo Alto 21-3
Notes on Match:

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posted by keith peters on Nov 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm

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posted by keith peters on Nov 14, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Palo Alto's No. 3 doubles team of Lauren Mah (left) and Christine Koepnick won in straight sets to help the Vikings beat St. Francis, 4-3, Friday in a CCS quarterfinal tennis match. Photo by Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online.
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