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Enthusiasm equals success

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 The Antelopes’ strength is their solid singles players. Senior Hollie O’Brien, freshman Janell Hatland and junior Melisa Gruber are the top singles players, winners of seven of nine sets in the Knight match. Gruber went 3-0. Up from the JV team Dumas coached last season are sophomore Vanessa Castillo, junior Gina Gonzales and junior Ebony Hallman. All are making steady progress. Dumas said her primary focus is building for the future. Her goal is for several individuals to advance to the Southern Section playoffs next year. “It’s not necessarily about winning as much as it is about improving at this point,” she said. Dumas is emphasizing her players conduct themselves appropriately, and she takes the compliments she has received from parents at recent league matches as a testament to her team’s grasp of tennis etiquette. LANCASTER – Whatever Antelope Valley High’s girls’ tennis team lacks in tradition, it is trying to make up for it with enthusiasm. Players came up with a motto, “I love this team,” that typifies the upbeat attitude the perennially struggling program has adopted. “They yell it during practice, and even during matches sometimes,” first-year coach Traci Dumas said. “There’s a lot of excitement about the potential of this team.” Antelope Valley showed some of that potential in Thursday’s 10-8 Golden League victory over Knight. “It’s a big contrast to the typical reputation that A.V. tennis players have,” Dumas said. “I was really happy.” Winning combination: Highland’s No. 2 doubles team, junior Alex Ruiz and senior Kelly Manahan, has emerged among the league’s best. They were unbeaten in Thursday’s 13-5 loss to Quartz Hill. Ruiz’s and Manahan’s skills complement each other. Ruiz’s specialty is returning and hitting well-placed lob shots; Manahan is an effective net player. “Both are really strong players, and they play really well as a team,” said Highland coach Linda Ruiz, Alex’s mother. Private lessons: Antelope Valley senior Bridget Grover, one of the Antelopes’ top players in recent years, has decided not to play high school tennis this season. She is instead working with a private instructor. Gideon Rubin (818)713-3607 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more