The Meadows girls tennis coach Frideric Prandecki figured to have a difficult time replacing four talented seniors from last year’s state championship squad.
Yet with a roster chock full of freshmen and sophomores, the Mustangs have picked up right where they left off.
The Meadows swept the nine singles sets Friday en route to a 14-4 win over Faith Lutheran in the Division I-A Southern Region final at Darling Tennis Center. Both the Mustangs (16-1) and the Crusaders (16-4) advance to the state tournament, which begins Oct. 24.
“We knew we had to pick up slack,” Prandecki said. “These girls have been practicing hard since last fall. We have girls who weren’t half as good last year as they are now, but it’s because they have worked hard.”
Anjali Daulat, the lone senior in the lineup, and freshmen Abigail Klein and Anuja Daulat all went 3-0 in singles as the Mustangs started piling up points early and never looked back.
The Mustangs led 5-1 after the opening round and nearly put the match away in the second round before settling for a 9-3 lead. Klein’s 6-2 win over Madison Foley in the first completed match of the third round gave The Meadows enough points for the victory.
The Mustangs defeated Faith Lutheran 16-2 in the teams’ first regular-season meeting before nipping the Crusaders 10-8 on Oct. 3 when the Daulats and Klein each went 2-1 in singles.
“We just went point by point today,” Anjali Daulat said. “We weren’t as confident, and our camaraderie definitely helped us today. We’re very close-knit, and we just stay positive.”
Mark McCrary and Christian Ong surrendered only one game. Deric Pang and Marcus Pasimio were even better.
McCrary and Ong lost just one game in three sets in doubles, and Pang and Marcus Pasimio were perfect in three doubles sets to lift defending Division I-A boys state champion Clark to a 12-6 win over Faith Lutheran. Both teams advance to the state tournament, which begins Oct. 24.
“Our players did really, really well today,” said Clark coach Clarence Chun. “Our doubles teams really carried us.”
Akshay Daulat and Walt Benda were 2-0 in doubles before being replaced by Kevin Wang and Vidul Jain, who won their lone set for the Chargers (15-0). Clark swept the nine doubles sets, dropping a total of eight games in the process.
Miko Pasimio went 3-0 in singles.
Joey Ritorto was 2-1 in singles for the Crusaders (15-5), who advance to the state tournament for the first time.