GTen: Royals hand Rams first loss

A highly anticipated non-league match ended on Friday with San Marcos edging Cate, 11-7, for the Rams’ first loss of the season.

The Royals are the Channel League champions while the Rams have clinched the Tri-Valley League title.

San Marcos’ Yuka Perera gave the Royals the early advantage by defeating Cate’s top singles player Julia Gan, 6-2. It was only the second set that Gan has lost all season.

“Yuka really played well today, she came out really hitting the ball hard from the beginning and was able to get a big lead on Gan before losing a few games late in the set,” said Royals head coach Fred Hartzman.

The other first-round battle was between the two schools’ top doubles teams, neither of which had lost so far this season. San Marcos’ Renee Handley and Sarah Yang prevailed, 7-5, over Cate’s Summer Christensen and McKenna Madden.

“San Marcos played an impressive match, particularly in the first round,” credited Rams head coach Trevor Thorpe.

“Had those two matches gone in the other direction, I think we could have gotten this thing done, but today our opponents were just that little bit better at key points. My girls really enjoyed playing San Marcos and we wish them luck heading into the playoffs in a few weeks,” Thorpe said.

“Cate is a very good team and I was happy to see how the girls came out and got off to a 4-2 lead after the first round,” Hartzman said.

Cate (9-1, 6-0) closes out its TVL schedule next week with two matches. San Marcos (13-1, 8-0) travels to Arroyo Grande on Monday.