Villa Park overmatched by undermanned Dons

The Santa Barbara girls tennis team wasn’t at full strength for its CIF playoff opener on Thursday, yet the Dons still had enough muscle to post a 14-4 first-round victory over visiting Villa Park.

Santa Barbara's Ariana Hudson

Santa Barbara's Ariana Hudson

“It’s hard, but we have such depth that we still have confidence in our team,” said No. 1 singles player Rachel Decker-Sadowski, who went 3-0 on the day. 

The Dons were without Ari Beckerman from the start and Grace Flintermann only played one set because of a pulled hamstring. In doubles, Kinzie McKeown sat out because of illness and Kaitlyn Rodnick played only one set because of a sprained ankle.

“It’s tough when that happens, especially when we go to CIF,” said Haley Hranicky-Galitzer, wanting not only the Dons to be at full strength but also citing the desire for the consistency that comes with having a steady lineup.

Hranicky-Galitzer and Aurora Garrison, who won their first Channel League doubles championship together last week, went unchallenged in three sets, 6-0, 6-2, 6-0.

Talia and Ariana Hudson also won three sets in a match that Santa Barbara had clinched after being up 11-1 after two rounds. Taryn Mjelde won her first two sets to help clinch the match early.

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DONS TENNIS TEAM PAGE

The No. 3-seeded Dons advance to play either Vista Murrietta or La Quinta on Saturday, most likely on the road and hope to have all the missing players on the court.

“I was pretty sore,” said Flintermann, who had to retire from a USTA match on Sunday when the injury occurred. “It’s been hurting for the past couple of weeks but it just pulled on Sunday.”

Flintermann, who battled through the pain to beat Villa Park’s Jazmine Colling in a tiebreaker, says she has no doubt she’ll play on Saturday. Beckerman and McKeown are also expected to play.

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SANTA BARBARA 14, VILLA PARK 4

SB Singles: Rachel Decker-Sadowski 3-0, Grace Flintermann 1-0, Emily Baum 1-1, Taryn Mjelde 2-1. VP Singles: Crystal Lim 1-2, Jazmine Colling 1-2, Andrea Kim 0-3.

SB Doubles: Hanna Grokenberger/Kaitlin Rodnick 1-0, Grokenberger/Stephanie Thornton 1-0, Savanna Fox/Alex Demopoulos 0-1, Haley Hranicky-Galitzer/Aurora Garrison 3-0, Ariana Hudson/Talia Hudson 3-0. VP Doubles: McGuine/Mirbabaee 1-2, Metcalf/Merk 1-2, Pearson/Nguyen 0-3.

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