Santa Barbara High’s girls tennis team is back in the CIF semifinals for the first time since 2011 after topping Mira Costa on Monday 10-8 in Santa Barbara.
The Dons, seeded sixth, were able to beat the third-seeded Mustangs in the second meeting this season between the two schools. Mira Costa had edged Santa Barbara on games in October but the Dons were able to secure one more singles set this time around.
Seniors Summer Garrison and Mattea Kilstofte were responsible, sweeping three sets each. Kilstofte won 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 and Garrison 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. “Getting six points [in singles] today was huge because Mira Costa’s strength is their doubles,” said Dons head coach Greg Tebbe. “But their No. 1 in singles is really tough, so it was important that we needed both Summer and Mattea to beat her.”
The match was tied 3-3 and 6-6 after two rounds. In the final round, Garrison and Kilstofte gave the Dons two-of-three points in singles, which came off the court first. Then the first two doubles sets split, leaving Mira Costa’s Madi Giese and Mai Nojima to battle it out with Santa Barbara’s Madison Hale and Lexy Gulden.
The final set went to Santa Barbara in a tiebreaker, although the Dons would have won the match with an overall games advantage had it ended in a 9-9 draw. “It was neck-and-neck the whole way,” Tebbe said.
Cade Sorensen and Marianna Alevra won two sets in doubles, as did Hale and Gulden.
Santa Barbara was last in a CIF semifinal when the Dons won the Division 2 championship in 2011. Garrison, Kilstofte, Hale, Alevra and Gulden were all on that team as freshmen.
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