Dons run out of gas in desert

Three matches in three days after a fire rips through town and forces many players to evacuate.

That would wear out the Energizer bunny.

Santa Barbara High’s top-ranked tennis team went to Palm Desert Thursday and played the Aztecs tough, but couldn’t make the final push in some crucial sets, losing 13-5.

“We just couldn’t get that extra spark. We were really close in so many matches but we couldn’t get that big win,” said coach Steve Geremia.

The senior doubles team of April Ludwick and Zoe Miller played the top Aztec doubles team tough and went up 5-4 but fell 7-5. Top singles player Rachel Decker-Sadowski also lost a tiebreaker in one of her sets.

Besides Ludwick and Miller, Danielle Broida (1-2 in singles) and Taylor Toner will graduate away from the Dons squad, leaving a heap of top talent as always.

“This is always a sad time for seniors, and they took it very hard,” said Geremia, who pointed out that the seniors had been to two CIF title matches and two semifinals during their careers, each time losing to the eventual champion.

A pair of Dons doubles teams — Channel League champs Hanna Grokenberger-Kinzie McKeown and runners-up Ari Beckerman-Haley Hranicky-Galitzer — move on to the individual playoffs at Carpinteria High on Saturday.

Santa Barbara finishes at 16-5, while Palm Desert stays perfect at 20-0.

PALM DESERT 13, SANTA BARBARA 5

Singles—SB: Decker-Sadowski 1-2, Broida 1-2, Garrison 1-2. PD: Krawczyk 3-0, Eggelson 3-0, Scullman 0-3.

Doubles—SB: Grokenberger/McKeown 1-2, Miller/Ludwick 0-3, Beckerman/Hranicky-Galitzer 1-2. PD: Cleary/Funk 2-1, Macintosh/Suarez 3-0, Perrodte/Eggelson 2-1.

Team records— SB 16-5, PD 20-0.

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