This past week was an Islander affair in the Women’s League doubles title as two CHS pairs, Marla Steel and Ana de la Lama, and Kate Perley and Sofia Yanez, faced off against each other. “It was fantastic for me as a coach to watch as I knew, either way, I was going to be proud,” said head coach Rob Moore. Ultimately, Steel and De la Lama’s pairing would come out with the 6-4 6-2 victory to claim the doubles’ title. But with the way both doubles pairs performed this year, they both received a bid to compete in the CIF doubles tournament. “Both of those pairs have been fantastic for us this season. Sofia, Kate, Marla, and Ana are all All-CIF caliber players,” said Moore. “I think they both can put together a solid run in CIF.”
Along with doubles’ title in the Western League, the Islanders nearly claimed a team CIF Division I title. Coach Moore said that going into the team portion of CIF he felt that the Islanders were seeded too low, as they had beaten both Cathedral and Scripps Ranch this season, and yet somehow both were placed high, despite having similar records to the Islanders.
In the opening round, the Islanders dominated, visiting Mt. Carmel as they cruised to an 11-6 victory. “We had a great team effort vs. Mt. Carmel,” said Moore. “Over these months, we’ve come tighter as a team. We had a great effort in all matches across the board.”
Following the win, the Islanders had a showdown in the Quarterfinals vs. OLP-Saints. The Islanders, who had fallen to OLP-Saints two previous times this season, both by one or fewer points, found themselves in a favorable position as they were tied 6-6 heading into the mixed doubles. “I felt we were in a great position at 6-6 since I had seen us win three mixed doubles matches at the time, and I thought we were going to do it again. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.” The Islanders fell 9-8 to OLP, who eventually claimed the Division I title.
While the team portion of the season has now concluded, the Islanders still have the individual part of CIF play to look forward to.
The doubles teams Steel/De La Lama and Perley/Yanez are not the only Islanders in the individual portion of CIF; joining them will be Men’s singles players Isaac del Rincon and Women’s singles Sinaia Haskal. “Isaac has just been such a fine player all season. He doesn’t flinch,” said Moore. “All year, he battled No. 1 singles players from opposing teams, and time after time, he prevailed. I think he can excel in the playoffs.”
For Sinaia Haskal, she secured her spot in the women’s singles bracket after winning the back draw/play in matches, which saw her make a remarkable comeback to claim the 5th and final singles spot. “The match Sinaia played to get in was an unbelievable effort. She fell behind quickly in the first set but ripped off a great 6-3 win in the second set and then won a great 10 point match tie break to get that final spot. It was great to see,” said Moore.
For men’s doubles, the Islanders have Ethan Harrington and Diego Girault, who received an at-large bid for the playoffs. “These two, I think, are some of the grittiest players I’ve been around in a while,” said Moore. “They constantly battle and pick each other up, and if it weren’t for two tie break losses in the league playoffs, then they wouldn’t have needed an at-large bid. They have a good draw vs. Fallbrook, and I think they can make a solid run,” said Moore
The last pairing representing Coronado will be the mixed doubles pairing of Tiana French and Luis Madrid-Safa. “These two have been a good pair all season,” said Moore. “I think Tiana has enjoyed playing in the mixed. She goes right at the men’s player if they’re up at the net; she’s played fearlessly. Luis has also been very consistent this season; he has great court coverage and keeps points going.”
For Coach Moore, this season has been a wild one; implementing the mixed doubles made coaching that much more difficult. This is why he said he was so thankful to have Amanda Heinken alongside him as coach this season. “There is no one else I’d rather coach with,” said Moore. “She’s been great and checking in with our players on match day and keeping up with scoring and keeping track of UTR. There is no way I could be doing this season without her, and I don’t think I’d want to be coaching with anyone else.”
The Islanders will begin their respective runs throughout this week, with matches on Tuesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 27.