Sonoma’s Stovall, Brett take doubles title
Montano, Robles, Gonzales, Morgan edged in postseason girls’ tennis
Sonoma’s Michelle Stovall (left photo) paired with exchange student teammate Stephanie Brett (right photo) and won the SCL Doubles title late Friday on the Izzy Derkos courts at Santa Rosa Junior College and advanced to the postseason NCS championships.
After last Wednesday’s rain blew by and the cloudy skies cleared, the postseason Sonoma County League singles and doubles tournaments began play with opening-round and quarterfinal matches on Thursday, and three of the six Sonoma Valley High School tennis girls competing advanced to Friday’s semifinals.
On the heels of sweeping their first-day matches on the Izzy Derkos courts at the Santa Rosa Junior College, Sonoma sophomore Cecilia Montano fell in her league singles semifinal, while junior teammates Michelle Stovall and exchange student Stephanie Brett rose to the challenge down the stretch.
Combining their talents, Brett and Stovall, who were the Lady Dragons’ No. 3 and 4 singles players, respectively, during the regular season, posted impressive semifinal and final victories and now reign as the SCL doubles champions.
The route Stovall and Brett navigated to claim the doubles crown started with a 6-0, 6-1 first-round victory over Piner’s Natalie Silva and Laura Castro, followed by a close 7-6, 6-4 quarterfinal win over El Molino’s Laney Harrison and Sabrina Zigler.
After topping Analy’s Gina Hervey and Paulina Cradeur 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals, Stovall and Brett overcame a slow start and rallied to a thrilling 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 triumph over Analy’s Becca Graff and Natalie Ambrosio in the title match.
By winning the SCL doubles title – which is the first SCL championship in five years for Sonoma head coach Mary Kate Dreyer – Stovall and Brett earned an automatic berth in the North Coast Section Division 3 championships, which begin at the Diamond Hills courts in Oakley next Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Action from Thursday’s SCL Singles tourney’s first-round matches saw Lady Dragon sophomore Cecilia Montano, who was a season-long standout at No. 2 singles, defeat Piner’s Kristin Soy 6-1, 6-2.
Then Montano eliminated El Molino’s Sierra Koenig 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals, but couldn’t get past eventual tourney champion Maddie Thomas from Petaluma, who topped her 3-6, 7-5, 2-6 in the semifinals.
The Lady Dragons’ No. 1 singles player, senior Anna Robles, captured her SCL tournament first-round match with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Healdsburg’s Olivia Hiles, before she dropped a 1-6, 2-6 quarterfinal decision to Piner’s Vicky Nguyen.
Sonoma junior Ava Gonzales and sophomore Annie Morgan paired up for a 6-3, 6-1 doubles first-round win over Healdsburg’s Maddie Graham and Molly Tingle, but were derailed from the tourney with a 3-6, 6-1, 0-6 quarterfinal loss to El Molino’s Isabella Negri and Mary Rose Ohlin.