Many victories down the line

The start of the season for the Diamond Bar High School girls’ tennis team has been smooth sailing despite injury-caused changes to the team’s lineup and a loss to league champion Montclair in their season opener.

“There are minor injuries that are recurring but under excellent management and care of our athletic trainers,” head coach Alexis Feix said.

The 10-8 loss to the Cavaliers is the only tarnish on the girls’ 4-1 league record, with dominant wins against Chino, Ontario, Chaffey and Don Lugo, 16-2, 12-6, 16-2 and 17-1 respectively.

Despite the loss, Feix and the Lady Brahmas continue to have a positive outlook, changing their game plan for their upcoming rematch against Montclair as well as future matches.

“The team played with tremendous grit against Montclair…a lack of conversion of high-pressure points was the reason we lost,” Feix said. “Next week, I have an adjustment in mind for the lineup that I think will help our chances.”

Feix’s lineup in mind for singles matchups are No.1 freshman Chloe Cadelina, No.2 sophomore Laura Gao and No.3 junior Levia Zhu. Gao, who moved up from the junior varsity team this year has been performing very well, winning all of her sets in the match against Chaffey and Don Lugo.

“I have been especially impressed with a JV player, Laura Gao, who is regularly playing varsity sets now. She won all three of her sets today at Chaffey and is really showing an all-star work ethic and attitude,” Feix said.

The doubles team lineup consists of No.1 double seniors Kelly Tsao and Elizabeth Peng, No.2 double senior captain Lindsay Kashiwabara and junior Katie Kim and No.3 double senior Natalie Wang and junior Gustava Drew.

“Overall, we are pretty strong, however we all need to work on pressure points,” Kashiwabara said. “When we are at deuce points or match points, a lot of us struggle under the pressure and make mistakes. For the rematch, the team just needs to relax a little and execute everything we have worked on at practice in the past two weeks.”

Converting points during crucial sets, working on strategies while players are up and down points during games and practicing volleys will be the main focus for the team in the next few weeks.

Singles player Cadelina and the No. 1 doubles team of Tsao and Peng have continued to perform at a high level, winning all of their league matches so far.

“I am incredibly impressed with my No. 1 single and doubles team, who are undefeated currently in league,” Feix said. “They are completely surpassing expectations and are excellent leaders. I have been impressed on the whole with the team’s flexibility as I have been trying new lineups.”        

In addition, Cadelina is adjusting well with the team and the opponents,  despite being a rookie in the Mt. Baldy League.

“Chloe has been an excellent addition to the team. She fits right in, is incredibly focused and positive. Everyone who plays with her is benefiting from her skills and talent; they are improving by hitting with her,” Feix said.

The Lady Brahmas will travel to Chino tomorrow to play their seventh game of the league season.