Stratman makes history with 4th Channel League singles title

It’s mission accomplished for Lauren Stratman.

The Dos Pueblos senior tennis star became the first player to win four Channel League singles championships since 1992 by beating Santa Barbara freshman Mattea Kilstofte in Friday’s  final, 6-0, 6-2, at Knowlwood Tennis Club. The straight-sets victory capped a perfect league record — she went 135-0 in her career.

Santa Barbara’s Amelia White was the last player to capture four league singles crowns, winning it from 1988-92.

Accomplishing the rare feat had been Stratman’s goal since winning her first title in her freshman year at DP.

She did it by using her full arsenal against the quick-footed Kilstofte.

Wearing a black shirt with the words, “No Quit” on the back, Stratman ripped service returns down the line and broke Kilstofte right off the bat. She kept the pressure on with powerful forehands into the corners in a dominating performance.

Stratman mixed up her shots well early in the second set and went up 3-0 before Kilstofte gained some momentum and started moving the ball around. She won the next two games.

But Stratman regained control of the match, hammering a forehand to break Kilstofte and take a 4-2 advantage.

She never let up and put her name in the Channel League history book.

“It feels so good. I am so happy,” said Stratman, who has committed to Columbia University. “It has always been my goal, so to actually achieve it… I just never thought this could happen.”

“She played amazing, she’s a great player,” said Kilstofte, who started the season with a broken foot.

Stratman beat  Santa Barbara players for three of her titles: Haley Hranicky-Galitzer in 2o10 and Rachel Decker-Sadowski in 2009 are the other two. As a freshman, she topped DP teammate Erica Cano.

Stratman said she is honored to be among the best players in league history

“To be even in the same group with Amelia White and all the greats that have played in this league — Pilar Montgomery, Kara Warkentin, it’s just amazing to be in that group.”

The doubles final was an all-Santa Barbara affair. Madison Hale and Megan Grant defeated Taryn Mjelde and Marianna Alevra for the title, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.

In the semifinals, Hale-Grant beat Caitlin Mannix-Jordan Lund of San Marcos 6-3, 6-2, while Mjelde-Alevra topped teammatesLisa Santry-Karina Thornton 6-3, 6-2