Top-seeded Dons advance to CIF semifinals

Santa Barbara's Karina Thornton, pictured, and doubles partner Lisa Santry won two of their three sets on Tuesday.

Santa Barbara High’s girls tennis team is one victory away from playing for the CIF Division II championship after Tuesday’s 14-4 triumph over visiting Los Alamitos on the Dons’ courts.

The top-seeded Dons are seeking their first appearance in the title match since 2006. Santa Barbara reached the semifinals last season before falling to San Marino.


Santa Barbara used an even-handed attack on Tuesday against Los Alamitos. The Dons claimed 7-of-9 sets in singles and doubles.

“Our team has a lot of depth,” said freshman Mattea Kilstofte, who was the Channel League singles runner-up. “Every player is great on our team.”

Madison Hale runs down a shot during the final round of Tuesday's match

Los Alamitos head coach Kevin Garrett couldn’t agree more.

“When you look at, what, they have 15 or so ranked kids, we knew that there was going to be no easy points.”

Aliya Alenikov held her own against the Dons, capturing 2-0f-3 sets in singles for the Griffins.

Santa Barbara’s Summer Garrison was the only singles player to sweep three sets in the match (6-1, 6-3, 6-1). The Channel League champion doubles team of Megan Grant and Madison Hale had another good day, also sweeping their three sets. Grant and Hale have yet to lose a set in three playoff matches.

The opponent and location for Thursday’s semifinal match is up in the air. The Dons do know they’ll play the winner between El Dorado and Diamond Bar.


SB Singles – S. Garrison 3-0, Mattea Kilstofte 2-1, Aurora Garrison 2-1. LA Singles – C. Fararji 0-3, A. Alenikov 2-1, S. Kinz 0-3.

SB Doubles  – Hale/Grant 3-0, Santry/Thornton 2-1, Mjelde/Alevra 2-1. LA Doubles – Cartnell/Gahungu 1-2, Edwards/Bolt 1-2, Buttle/Bunting 0-3.