Mjelde wins final game for thrilling Santa Barbara upset

After three singles matches were retired due to injury, the Santa Barbara High girls tennis team relied solely on senior Taryn Mjelde.   With her 6-2 win in the final set, the team earned a 4-3 victory and advanced to the next round at the California High School Girls Tennis Classic in Fresno.

The young Santa Barbara team featured only two seniors and one junior, with the rest of the team comprised of freshmen and sophomores.  The school had never won a round at the tournament, until its two victories on Friday.


The Dons faced a tough quarterfinal opponent in Saratoga High, and their road to the semifinal was made rougher by injuries and inexperience.

“Nobody was really expecting us to have much,” Santa Barbara head coach Steve Geremia said.  “The young women who have come into our program have proven themselves to be excellent competitors.”

As the round approached its end, Mjelde learned during her match that the score was tied 3-3 due to another singles match being retired because of an injury, and that her performance would decide her team’s fate.

“She had a little hiccup when she realized we had retired three singles and her match was it,” Geremia said.  “She played a couple bad points, but Taryn pulled her game together and finished her last set 6-2.  We’re very proud of the way she reacted in a situation she did not anticipate.”

The Dons continue tournament play tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM against an undetermined opponent.