In the current climate of Central Section high school sports, schools are moved up and down divisions based on the success or lack thereof of a given team. In Corcoran High’s case, the current cross country team, girls’ basketball team and girls’ tennis team have all been moved up divisions because of previous success, often playing schools twice the size of CHS.
uch was the case this past Wednesday as the CHS Girls Tennis team trekked to Bakersfield to take on Independence High in the Division IV Valley Girls Tennis Final. Independence High is a relatively new school on the far southwest edge of Bakersfield that currently enrolls two thousand students. From the outset, it was apparent that the host team consisted of players that had been playing tennis for some time.
The Falcons swept five of the six matches, along with the #1 doubles match for a 6 – 3 valley final win. The Panthers entered the match at 17 – 2, having recorded a 5 – 4 victory the previous week against Wasco. The Panthers gave it all they had but were outmanned at every position with the exception of #2 Singles where Nancy Gusman defeated Paige Darstein in a Super Tiebreaker, 6 – 3, 2- 6, 10 – 5. Corcoran also earned victories in #2 Doubles by Jasmine Puga and Angelica Romero, along with #3 Doubles, Sabrina Oregel and Jennifer Gonzalez.
For the past three years, Corcoran High has been led by a senior class whose mark on CHS Tennis will be tough to match, considering that the Panthers made three consecutive trips to the valley finals, winning it all in 2013. Leading the way were Lesly Alvarez and Nancy Gusman. Both are four- year players who played in all three valley final appearances. Jasmine Puga also appeared in all three valley final matches, having played three years of tennis for the Panthers. Angelica Romero played in two valley final contests in the three years of coming out for the sport. Lastly, Yenifer Cerda and Estefany Rodriguez were members of this year’s senior class who played important roles in the Panthers run to recent league and valley playoff success.
Corcoran ends the season at 17 – 3 for the year and will look to reload for the coming 2015 league season.