GTen: Dons knock off Mira Costa to reach semis

Santa Barbara High's Madison Hale, pictured, clinched Monday's match with a third-round victory with partner Lexy Gulden.

Santa Barbara High’s Madison Hale, pictured, clinched Monday’s match with a third-round victory with partner Lexy Gulden. (Presidio Sports Photos)


Santa Barbara High’s girls tennis team is back in the CIF semifinals for the first time since 2011 after topping Mira Costa on Monday 10-8 in Santa Barbara.

The Dons, seeded sixth, were able to beat the third-seeded Mustangs in the second meeting this season between the two schools. Mira Costa had edged Santa Barbara on games in October but the Dons were able to secure one more singles set this time around.

Seniors Summer Garrison and Mattea Kilstofte were responsible, sweeping three sets each. Kilstofte won 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 and Garrison 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

“Getting six points (in singles) today was huge because Mira Costa’s strength is their doubles,” said Dons head coach Greg Tebbe. “But their No. 1 in singles is really tough, so it was important that we needed both Summer and Mattea to beat her.”

Mattea Kilstofte follows through on a forehand during Monday's match.

Mattea Kilstofte follows through on a forehand during Monday’s match.

The match was tied 3-3 and 6-6 after two rounds. In the final round, Garrison and Kilstofte gave the Dons two-of-three points in singles, which came off the court first. Then the first two doubles sets split, leaving Mira Costa’s Madi Giese and Mai Nojima to battle it out with Santa Barbara’s Madison Hale and Lexy Gulden.

The final set went to Santa Barbara in a tiebreaker although the Dons would have won the match with an overall games advantage had it ended in a 9-9 draw.

“It was neck-and-neck the whole way,” Tebbe said. “I felt, going into the last round it was 6-all, but I still felt like the matchups favored us, but not by a lot.”

Gulden and Hale squandered a 5-2 lead but recovered to win 7-6.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match because we barely lost to them in regular season,” Gulden said. “So everyone was super pumped up that we got to play them again.”

Cade Sorensen and Marianna Alevra won two sets in doubles, as did Hale and Gulden.

The CIF Division 1 semifinal is Wednesday. The Dons will have to travel to face second-seeded University.

Santa Barbara was last in a CIF semifinal when the Dons won the Division 2 championship in 2011. Garrison, Kilstofte, Hale, Alevra and Gulden were all on that team as freshmen.