Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West girls win Division I tennis title

As Tayler Piearcy and Kristen Lampe walked off court No. 1, a momentum-swinging doubles victory in hand, the suspense turned from how tight the Central Section Division I championship was going to be to how quickly Clovis West High would wrap up its season of domination.

Considering the top-seeded Golden Eagles and second-seeded Buchanan had played five consecutive ever-so-close 5-4 girls tennis matches over the past two seasons, that was quite uncharacteristic.

But after a fiercely battled split in singles play, the end came quickly in doubles. Chelsea McCutcheon and Danielle Kar earned the winning point and Eron Piearcy and Amanda Bukillica completed a trio of straight-sets wins as Clovis West powered to a 6-3 victory for its first section title since 1997.

"We are so deep that we don't lose much going into doubles," said Clovis West coach Mark Belman, whose team went 21-4 without a loss to any Central Section team. "That's our advantage. We have 14 good players."

The tone was set quickly in doubles by Tayler Piearcy and Lampe, who didn't give up a point in the first set en route to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Buchanan's top team of Kathryn Ashford and Geena Garabedian.

McCutcheon and Kar were equally as dominant early in the No. 2 match against Katlyn Wood and Sally Shellworth, rolling to a 6-0, 6-4 win that set off a celebration for all of the Eagles except Eron Piearcy and Bukillica, who were in the process of downing Megan Lee and Anshu Gaur 6-2, 6-2.

With most of her teammates gathered close, Kar was on serve for what proved to be the match-winning point, which was returned into the net.

"I just told myself to stay calm, this is the last point, we can do it," Kar said. "It turned out great.

"It's a great honor to be on this team. I'm just glad I was able to contribute."

In singles, Tayler Piearcy provided a crucial point for Clovis West with a come-from-behind victory over Ashford at the No. 1 spot. Ashford cruised 6-0 in the first set, but Piearcy rallied to win 6-3 in the second and rolled 10-1 in the tiebreaker.

Piearcy and Ashford had split two previous meetings this season.

"She's a really good player," Piearcy said. "It's been super close when we've played. I just had to grind it out and be patient."

Brooke Sanford rallied from behind to knock off Nicole Shinkawa 0-6, 6-4, 10-5 at No. 6, Lee downed Alyx Fena 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 and Wood beat McCutcheon 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 to give Buchanan (17-7) a 3-3 split through singles play, which coach Jonathan Slater feared wouldn't be enough for his defending champion Bears.

"We knew coming in that we needed to be ahead after singles," Slater said. "We came close to that, but give Clovis West credit. They played very well in doubles."

Clovis West's other singles wins came from No. 4 Kar -- 6-4, 6-3 over Garabedian -- and No. 5 Eron Piearcy -- 6-2, 6-3 over Maddy Monreal.

"We're super excited," Tayler Piearcy said. "We worked so hard for this. We just knew we had to do it. We have a great team. We all work really well together."