Hitting within the sidelines

After last season’s underclassmen-dominated roster, the Diamond Bar High School girls tennis team hopes  to improve on last year’s Mt. Baldy League second-place finish and CIF qualification with a group of returning players.

In the first three matches of their preseason, the Lady Brahmas soundly defeated Walnut and Glendora 11-7 and 10-8, respectively, but fell short to Ayala, 13-5. The Bulldogs have consistently been a difficult team for the girls to compete against; DBHS lost to Ayala last  season as well.

Although the team suffered an early exit in the first round of CIF last year, multiple doubles and singles players have learned from their experience and hope to make a deeper run this season.

“I believe we have the potential to improve in our CIF outcome this year. The parts we can control like work ethic, practice, motivation and dedication are our most important tools in securing the win,” head coach Alexis Feix said via email.

The coach said she expects the No. 1 doubles team to play a big part in the team’s success.

“Our number one doubles team, Elizabeth Peng and Kelly Tsao, were league MVP last year–and I expect that they will receive the same recognition this year,” Feix said. “They are the perfect complement to one another’s playing styles–a marriage of both measured aggression and consistency.”

In addition, freshman Chloe Cadelina, returning juniors Levia Zhu and Gustava Drew and senior Lauren Chen round out the lineup.

“There has been great growth across the team in the past yearChloe, who is a freshman, was added to our singles roster this year, and she has an excellent baseline and service game. Levia Zhu, Lauren Chen and Ava Drew have also grown significantly in the offseason,” Feix said.

Montclair, the reigning league champions who defeated  the Lady Brahmas twice  last season, will be a major obstacle between the girls and the Mt. Baldy League champion title.

“With the new team makeup and the graduation of their No. 1 doubles team, we should be able to take the win against Montclair this year,” Feix said. “We are putting in the work every day with that goal in mind.”

The team will face off against the league champions on Sep. 19 for their season opener.