Disappointing loss to Mater Dei

BVH girls’ tennis humbled against Mater Dei’s girls’ tennis team 2-15


Lauralai Gilbert

On Oct. 13 at Bonita Vista High, the girls’ tennis team plays against Mater Dei High. Ready to serve doubles, junior Paulina Escaiadillo begins the match serving while her doubles partner and junior Catherine Wunderly readies her stance.

Antoinette Gilbert, Copy Editor

The crowd watches the girls’ tennis team swing and score sets as girls’ tennis head coach Joe Sheffield shouted at the players with encouragement. On Thursday Oct. 13, on a gloomy, cloudy day after school hours at Bonita Vista High (BVH) tennis courts the girls’ tennis team had held a home game against Mater Dei High (MDH) ending the score to 2 out of 15 against MDH.

Prior to the game, girls’ tennis team planned ahead.  They hoped to come in confidently and play well enough to be able to go toe-to-toe with a pretty tough team. Having to play against a team more trained in tactics than any other team, according to the team, made for a more difficult game than the BVH team could have imagined.

“Our goal for the game was to play smart and end up being strategic,” #1 doubles and senior Kaitlyn Bernardo said. 

Sheffield has been teaching girls’ tennis for eight years and had many goals for this game. After many losses against MDH in the past years, BVH had been struggling due to a series of tough matches against quality opponents, such as. It was an uphill battle from the start as BVH was down 3-0 in the first set quickly.

“My goal is to at least be competitive and like I said, Mater Dei [is] a very good team so we just want to become better,” Sheffield said. “It’s frustrating because everytime we play Mater Dei from the past I always had a really bad experience with them as far as their players.”

After a pretty demoralizing defeat last time, they hoped to have a better grasp on MDH’s tactics and improve on their results from last time. Unfortunately, MDH switched up their tactics and  BVH was unprepared for the tactical switch, demonstrated by the results. 

In order to improve prior to the MDH game was through after school practices, where they would focus on slices and placements. The team would also participate in drills centered on stamina and agility. For example, the drill requires three three players on the court, one on one side of the court and the other two on the other to hit the ball as far as the court is. This helps to improve their timing and their coordination.

Doubles’ players and junior Alexis Jimenez is a newcomer for the team and shared, “It was the toughest game I have ever played. I think MDH is the toughest school I have experienced so far because you can tell that tennis is their main sport that they take very seriously. 

“For example, tennis is not my main sport, softball is. I wanted to try out for tennis to experience something new and make varsity. MDH also plays with dominance like I have never seen.”

Even after BVH’s preparation, MDH remained undefeated. Even so, BVH has come too far to be deterred just from one game and will continue to strive towards greatness. Despite their disappointing loss, the players still enjoyed a hard defeat. 

“When we played against MDH  it was still a fun experience. I learned new things and experienced what a competitive game looks like,” Jimenez said. “I learned that I had to keep up with MDH, especially since I’ve never played tennis in my life.”