Granite Bay edges Del Oro for Division II tennis title

By: Nick Hunte/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Granite Bay High School’s girls tennis team earned its fifth consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title Friday with a narrow 5-4 victory over visiting Del Oro in an all-Sierra Foothill League final.

Granite Bay moves on to the CIF NorCal Championships at the Natomas Racquet Club next Friday and awaits the draw for its next opponent.

The Grizzlies have never won a NorCal match, but coach Rory Wood said this section title gives him confidence.

“I’m a little more hopeful that we will do better this year and that we can go further than ever before,” Wood said. “I’m banking on three or four match wins, so I’m confident going into next week.”

Granite Bay twins Chloe and Lily Forlini easily swept their singles matches with Chloe winning 6-2, 6-1 and Lily winning 6-0, 6-0. Lauren Bonham won her match 6-2, 6-4, and Ashley Howes lost a close match 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

The Kecki sisters had mixed results. Kammy Kecki, the Division II section singles champ, cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory, but senior Kara Kecki lost a tough match 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). Still, Kara Kecki was happy with the team win and hopes the Grizzlies can win their first regional championship next week.

“The match was a little closer than we wanted it to be, but it feels good to win our fifth year in a row,” she said. “Hopefully next week we can be focused and really on our game and get a win.”

Granite Bay had trouble in doubles action, as Kendyl Talley and Jordan Maggio lost 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-3 and Jessica Southward and Kayla Cline lost 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. However, Brooke Williams and Esha Lal picked up a big 6-3, 6-4 victory.

This is Wood’s first section title as the coach of the girls team after taking over for Polly Hunter, who left at the conclusion of last season. Wood said it felt good to bring home the fifth section title with a great team.

“Granite Bay has always had good, tight-knit tennis teams, and they are a great bunch of girls who are focused well on academics and can still come out to play great tennis,” he said. “As long as I am the coach, we’re going to be pushing for as many section titles as we can.”

Del Oro coach Jen Isaac gave credit to Granite Bay and thought her team also played well.

“It’s Granite Bay’s year for the CIF, but my girls had a fun time battling against them, and it was really close again this year,” Isaac said. “I hate losing, but we played well.”

Isaac also said she was pleased to get her players to compete at a high level against Granite Bay.

“We don’t have a lot of ranked players like they do, so the program that we do, we get them to compete at that level pretty fast, and I feel pretty good about that,” Isaac said. “Despite losing, I realized that we do the right stuff with what we have.”