CIF Prep Girls Tennis: Rancho Bernardo High duo reaches section title match; Del Norte’s Haviland falls in semifinals
By Michael Bower
Rancho Bernardo High girls tennis coach Mike Parrinello watched Jana McCord capture the CIF San Diego Section Singles Championship last year.
This season he might get the chance to watch the young duo of Carissa Bernhardt and Wakana Tanaka win the doubles title.
The third-seeded tandem of Bernhardt and Tanaka advanced to Friday afternoon’s 1 p.m. title match by edging No. 1 Alisha Sharma and Fei Kwan of Westview 6-3, 2-6, 10-7 Thursday in the semifinals at Barnes Tennis Center.
When asked about earning a spot in the championship match, both Bernhardt and Tanaka had stunned looks on their faces, as if they were still taking it all in.
“We knew we had the potential for this, but it was really tough,” said Tanaka, a sophomore. “We are really excited for this.”
“I thought we could get to the semifinals, and then I knew this would be a really close match,” said Bernhardt, a freshman. “We came into it knowing that since we lost before we would just come out here and give it our all.”
Bernardt and Tanaka fell to Sharma and Kwan in three sets in the Palomar League championship. The semifinal match was very similar to the one at the league championships.
The Broncos rolled to a first-set win and then stumbled in the second set in both matches. But this time Rancho Bernardo was able to win the third-set, tie-breaker 10-7 to advance to the finals.
“We just wanted to cut down the mistakes and play our game in that third set,” Tanaka said. “We just stayed focus.”
Bernhardt and Tanaka will face No. 2 Dani Devor and Lauren Ross of La Jolla Country day in the championship. The two advanced by beating the Broncos’ other doubles team in the tournament, Carlin Tou and Danny Sheikholeslami 6-2, 7-6 (1).
“We are going to talk to our teammates, who just had a match with them,” Bernhardt said. “I think that will help us a lot.”
Even though Del Norte High’s Kylie Haviland fell short of reaching the championship match, she had a memorable finish to her high school tennis career.
The Northern Iowa-bound star played her best with her back against the wall, spoiling two match points by La Jolla’s Rozel Hernandez, the No. 4 seed, and then rallying for a 1-6, 7-6, 11-9 victory in the quarterfinals.
“That was an extremely emotional match,” Haviland said. “Rozel is my friend and we have always been really close. I was getting beat really badly in the first set, and it was mostly mental for me from there on out. I told myself I cannot go down without a fight. I fought harder than I have ever fought in any other match in that one. It probably is one of my most memorable matches.”
Seventh-seeded Haviland went on to lose to Fallbrook’s Monica Robinson, the top seed, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals, but not after a strong showing in her final days as a prep player.
“It is a bummer and it is really sad that my high school career is over,” Haviland said, “but I have had such a good run that I can look back on it and smile.”
- Prep Girls Tennis: Del Norte High’s Haviland captures Valley League singles title
- Prep Girls Tennis: Road gets tougher in Palomar League for Rancho Bernardo High, Poway; Del Norte favorite in Valley League
- Prep Girls Tennis: Rancho Bernardo High reaches semifinals of section playoffs
- Prep boys tennis: Rancho Bernardo High sweeps section singles and doubles titles
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