For the second straight year, Buchanan High came close, but the Central Section remains 0-for-the-CIF Southern California Regional girls tennis playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Bears dropped the third set of the last match to finish – No. 2 doubles – in a 4-3 loss to No. 11 Northwood-Irvine in the opening round of the 16-team tournament for schools from the Central, Los Angeles, San Diego and Southern sections.
Stockdale lost to Corona del Mar-Newport Beach 7-0 to make the Central Section 0-8 since the regional launched in 2012. The Bears are 0-4, losing 4-3 to Murrieta Valley last season after defeats of 7-0 to Arcadia in 2013 and 6-1 to Campbell Hall-North Hollywood in 2012.
It’s hard for the kids to end the season like that. But I’m proud of the girls for the way they played today. They aren’t intimidated anymore. They know they can compete.
Buchanan girls tennis coach Jonathan Slater, whose team dropped its CIF Southern California Regional opener 4-3 in final match for the second straight season
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Fresno Bee
“It’s hard for the kids to end the season like that,” Buchanan coach Jonathan Slater said. “But I’m proud of the girls for the way they played today. They aren’t intimidated anymore. They know they can compete.”
It came down to No. 2 doubles, where the Bears’ Katie Jackson and Emily Braun won the first set 6-4. Northwood’s Megan Mansonhing and Carolyn Dear took the second 6-1, then cruised in the third 6-0 as the Timberwolves (15-6) advanced to face Harvard Westlake-Studio City in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Buchanan (21-3) had forged a 3-3 tie after getting wins at Nos. 1-2 singles from sisters Sravya and Lasya Gudipudi and from the No. 1 doubles team of Lauren Lee and Sienna Swain.
Sravya Gudipudi beat Shweta Kumar 6-3, 6-3, while Lasya Gudipudi downed Michelle Kroll 6-2, 6-1 in the third and fourth matches to finish, tying the match 2-2.
Lee and Swain gave the Bears a brief 3-2 lead with their 6-3, 6-1 win over Roni Kolli and Nithya Menon.
But Northwood’s Carissa Leung and Angela Le held off Buchanan’s Irene Lee and Maddy Fraser 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 doubles to tie it 3-3.
“It was really disappointing today, but a good season overall that this loss can’t take away from,” Lasya Gudipudi said. “Hopefully we have some good people coming from Alta (Sierra, Buchanan’s feeder intermediate school) and we’ll try again.”
0-8 Combined record of Central Section teams since the CIF Southern California Regional girls tennis playoffs began in 2012.
Sravya Gudipudi, Lee and Swain were part of Buchanan teams that won three of the past four Central Section Division I titles, including their second straight with a 6-3 win over Stockdale on Nov. 10.
Lee and partner Lasya Gudipudi were the section’s individual doubles champions, while Sravya Gudipudi was the singles runner-up.
“We came in with a target on our back with the majority of our team back,” Slater said. “We had a fantastic season.”