Preps

Thursday, Sep 26 2013 10:33 PM

Mustangs top Drillers, stay perfect in SWYL girls tennis

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Stockdale's Cara Kemp follows through on a return to Driller Ali Vaughn.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield's Ali Vaughn runs down a shot from Stockdale's Cara Kemp.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Isabel Donaldson zeros in on a ball from Stockdale's Arianna Tilbury.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Stockdale's Arianna Tilbury plays a return close to the net.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield's Isabel Donaldson reacts to a lost point to Stockdale's Arianna Tilbury.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Stockdale's Cara Kemp returns a volley to Bakersfield's Ali Vaughn.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Stockdale's Arianna Tilbury delivers a backhand to Isabel Donaldson of BHS.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Driller Ali Vaughn follows her return to Cara Kemp back across the net.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Mustang Arianna Tilbury reaches for a return against Bakersfield's Isabel Donaldson.

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    In between sets, Bakersfield's Isabel Donaldson gets some advice from assistant coach Peter Donaldson, who is also her dad.

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BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The californian

Stockdale finished serving notice to the rest of the Southwest Yosemite League girls tennis teams' on Thursday that they're all playing for second place.

The Mustangs cemented their position as the league's top team in dominating fashion by beating host Bakersfield High 9-0.

Stockdale (8-3) completed the first half of SWYL play 5-0 as a team and 45-0 in individual matches.

Cara Kemp, Emily Horrigan and Claire Heffernan each won twice and Arianna Tilbury claimed a hard-fought, 7-6, 6-2 victory over Isabel Donaldson at No. 1 singles to propel Stockdale past BHS (9-6, 3-2), which was undefeated in SWYL action before narrowly losing to Centennial on Tuesday.

"Every match I tell my girls it doesn't matter who you're playing, you still have to execute shots and you still have to play well in order to get wins," Stockdale coach Dave Hillestad said. "I'm really proud of my girls. I thought we played well."

Kemp, a transfer from Palos Verdes Peninsula, played brilliantly in both of her matches. The 6-foot-3 daughter of former NBA all-star Shawn Kemp, used her immense strength along with a deft touch to beat Ali Vaughn, 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 singles before teaming with Horrigan at No. 1 doubles to best Vaughn and Falana Kelly 6-0, 6-4.

"In my singles I was little disappointed," Kemp said. "The first set I didn't play too well. But I picked it back up. It was really windy. Ali (Vaughn) was playing really well so it was a good match."

Stockdale's perfect SWYL mark in individual matches was only seriously threatened twice.

The Drillers' Eliza Verderber and Jocelyn Postiff pushed Dipika Khullar and Veronica Renaker to a third-set tie-break at No. 3 doubles before falling 6-1, 4-6, 10-4.

Earlier Tilbury edged Donaldson, 7-4, in a first-set tie-break before earning her ninth win in 11 singles matches this year.

"It was very, very tough," Tilbury said. "I had to just keep on going and just stay in it every point."

With the second set tied after both girls held their first serve, Tilbury won 16 of the next 20 points to go up 5-1 on an ailing Donaldson, who hurt her already problematic back during a long rally late in the first set.

"I was barely able to breathe at the end of the first set," Donaldson said.

She spent the break between the first and second sets stretching trying to alleviate the problem.

Despite her obvious discomfort, Donaldson didn't use the injury as excuse for losing the match.

"She played really good," Donalson said. "She stepped up her game the last couple of years. She's just learned to keep the ball in and stay consistent. And that's just what you need to do to win tennis now."

BHS coach Julio Mercado said he was pleased with the way his team competed.

"I think they gave it a good effort," Mercado said. "We talked about that. About going out and giving it 100 percent. And they tried. They didn't fold...I think we played to our potential. We played as hard as we could."

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