Clovis West High’s Janie Ellis and Garces’ Anastasia Drulias and Alexsia Drulias were selected the top seeds in singles and doubles for the Central Section individual girls tennis championships.
The tournament is set for Friday and Saturday at Garces in Bakersfield.
Ellis, the section’s defending singles champion and reigning Bee Player of the Year, is the top seed for the second straight season and will open against No. 16 Katie Pfaff of Woodlake at 9 a.m. Friday. The quarterfinals begin at noon, with the semifinals and finals at times to be determined Saturday.
Ellis defeated Buchanan’s Sravya Gudipudi 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 in last season’s final. The Tri-River Athletic Conference singles champion, Ellis qualified for the section championships by winning her quarterfinal match at the North Area tournament to improve to 25-0. Semifinalists at the North, Central and South area tournaments all automatically qualified for the section tournament.
Never miss a local story.
“She has a lot of confidence going into the tournament,” Clovis West coach Neil Castro said. “But she knows the field is deep again like last year, and she will have to play well every round.”
Frontier’s Madison Swaney heads up the other end of the bracket as the No. 2 seed. She opens against No. 15 Maddie Giannetto of Monache.
The rest of the first-round matchups feature No. 3 Claire Yang of Redwood against No. 14 Jordan Pickett of Clovis North, No. 4 Elizabeth Schulz of Clovis North against No. 13 Maria Aguilar of Kerman, No. 5 Delany Roche of Bakersfield Christian against No. 12 Kate Sapasap of Redwood, No. 6 Lasya Gudipudi of Buchanan against No. 11 Kim Sars of Frontier, No. 7 Erica Paradise of Stockdale against No. 10 Grace Moore of Buchanan and No. 8 Liberty Roche of Bakersfield Christian against No. 9 Kayla Ko of Stockdale.
In doubles, the Drulias will take on No. 16 Kelsey Gong and Monica Gong of Sierra Pacific in the opening round, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Quarterfinal matches are at 1:30 p.m., with the semifinals and final on Saturday at times to be determined.
Clovis West’s Julie August and Katelyn Pevandi are the No. 2 seeds and open against Buchanan’s Stephanie Foanene and Mikayla Marini.
August and Pevandi were the Golden Eagles’ Nos. 2-3 singles players during the season and went 1-3 in limited action as a team heading into the postseason, then went 4-0 while winning the TRAC tournament and adding two more wins at the North Area tournament.
“They could have played singles and maybe qualified there, but they chose to make a run at doubles,” Castro said. “The sky is the limit for them. They have a shot to really do something.”
Other doubles matchups include Clovis’ No. 3 Kelly Crouch and Tori Mueller against Central Valley Christian’s No. 14 Evin Haworth and Erika Roeloffs, Bakersfield’s No. 4 Kate Kelly and Margo Kuney against Sanger’s No. 13 Mary Jolly and Autumn Lee, Bakersfield Christian’s No. 5 Annabella McGilvray and Abby Stevens against Clovis North’s No. 12 Mizna Akbar and Manu Javangula, Clovis North’s No. 6 Nandini Nair and Aluya Kusumo against Garces’ No. 11 Bianca Burkhart and Lelani Straham, Sanger’s No. 7 Kerris Lassley and Alyssa Byde against Stockdale’s No. 10 Anna Ashford and Mia Sawaya, and Clovis East’s Natty Villarreal and Senna Ryland against Bakerfield’s No. 9 Isa Iturrira and Bella Bank.
Buchanan’s Lasya Gudipudi was a member of last season’s doubles champion as she and the graduated Lauren Lee topped Stockdale’s Paradise and Emily Horrigan 6-2, 6-2 in the final.
Clovis Hall honorees – The late Dr. Floyd B. Buchanan will be among seven individuals and two teams enshrined in the inaugural Clovis Unified Athletic Hall of Fame during a gala ceremony set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Performing Arts Center at Clovis North High.
Buchanan, the district’s founding superintendent who laid the groundwork for its athletic success, died in August 2015 at 91.
Other honorees include Dennis DeLiddo (wrestling), Chris Hernandez (basketball), Daryle Lamonica (football), Ruth Lawanson (volleyball), Amanda Scott (softball), Tim Simons (football), the 1968 Clovis boys basketball team and the 1970 Clovis football team.
Basketball coach dies – South Bakersfield boys basketball coach and special education teacher Brian Carter was killed Sunday morning in a single-car accident.
The Bakersfield California, citing the Bakersfield Police Department, said Carter, 41, lost control of his truck and careened through a fence at Riverlakes Ranch Golf Course on the city’s northwest side.
“He loved his kids,” South athletic director Jim McDonnell told The Californian. “They were like his personal kids – he loved them and they would run across campus with him, and he was always so positive and happy with them.”
Carter had coached South for eight years.