Prep girls tennis: Del Norte High duo falls just short of earning school’s first section title
By Michael Bower
Del Norte High’s Kylie Haviland and Yolanda Pham are two of the top singles players in the Valley League. But rather than showcase their skills individually, the two decided to team up for the first time and make a run at the CIF San Diego Section doubles title.
And what a run it was.
Haviland and Pham entered the section doubles championships as the No. 8 seed, but won four straight matches, including one over the No. 2 team from La Jolla to advance to Friday’s championship match.
It was there that the magical journey by Haviland and Pham came to an end, as the tandem fell just short of bringing Del Norte High its first section championship in its short three-year history.
La Jolla Country Day’s Lindsey Jacobs and Lindsey Kostas were able to solve Haviland and Pham, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in the CIF SDS doubles championship match at Barnes Tennis Center.
Jacobs and Kostas, seeded fourth in the tournament, trailed 3-0 and then 4-1 in the opening set before taking over the match the rest of the way. The two netted the next five games to take the first set 6-4 and go up 3-0 in the second set.
“I feel like Lindsey Kostas kind of took over,” said Haviland, who battled injuries all season. “Her partner, Lindsey Jacobs, got more comfortable and kind of settled down a little bit, and I think we started making more mistakes.”
Haviland and Pham were able to rally within 3-2 in the second set, but Kostas and Jacobs regrouped and went on to win the set and the title. It was Pham’s first loss all season. The junior, who will graduate early with this year’s senior class, went 33-0 in the regular season.
“It was a really good season,” Pham said. “We played really well.”
Despite only playing a few matches together before the start of the section tournament, Pham and Haviland were able to become quite a tandem.
“We have two contrasting styles that really compliment each other in doubles,” Haviland said. “Yolanda is consistent and steady. She hits good spots and sets me up well at the net to be aggressive. I think we compliment each other really well.”
The two were the first duo in school history to reach the championship match in doubles. Haviland, a junior, said she will be returning next year to play singles since Pham will be gone.
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