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La Cañada High girls' tennis gets back on track

Tennis: Spartans snap two-match losing skid with big effort from Ally McKenzie to earn 12-6 Rio Hondo League win against Temple City.

October 22, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • La Canada's Ally McKenzie returns a shot with a forehand in a Rio Hondo League singles tennis match against Temple City at La Canada High on Tuesday. The Spartans won, 12-6. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
La Canada's Ally McKenzie returns a shot with a forehand…

LA CAÑADA — After a rough week in which they lost a couple of matches, the members of the La Cañada High girls’ looked to get back on track.

With Ally McKenzie on board, the Spartans took care of business quickly Tuesday.

McKenzie lost just one game in sweeping her three sets to power host La Cañada to a 12-6 Rio Hondo League victory against Temple City.

The Spartans had come off consecutive losses last week to San Marino, the defending CIF Southern Section Division II champion, and Valencia Valencia. In came McKenzie to help the Spartans refocus.

PHOTOS: La Cañada v. Temple City league girls tennis

“It’s really important to get this win after losing some close matches,” McKenzie said. “We want to do good in the last couple of weeks of the season.

“We want to get better. I thought I played well. You try to be consistent with everything. You try to get to the short balls and be in control of the points.”

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The Spartans, who are tied for 10th in the latest Division II poll with Placentia Valencia and Yorba Linda, improved to 10-6, 4-2 in league. Temple City dropped to 10-5, 4-3.

La Cañada won six doubles sets Tuesday to turn back Temple City for the second time this season. The Spartans posted an 11-7 road win against the Rams on Oct. 3.

La Cañada got two doubles victories apiece from Emily Swanson and Serena Zheng (6-1, 6-2), Cassie McKenzie and Sharyse Watanabe (6-2, 6-0) and Suma Gudipati and Sara Cho (6-4, 6-1). It also received two singles wins from Sawa Keymeulen (6-0, 6-0) and one from Emily Matuska (6-4).

La Cañada Coach Will Moravec said he was eager to see how the Spartans would respond Tuesday.

“We had a tough week last week,” Moravec said. “We had to make sure we got some victories in doubles and they got it.

“Hopefully, it will continue. I think the biggest thing came in the first round when our No. 3 singles player (Ally McKenzie) and No. 3 doubles team (Gudipati and Cho) got wins to close out the first round. I think that helped set the tone for the rest of the match.”

La Cañada will next compete in a league road match at 3:30 p.m. Thursday against South Pasadena.

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