Women’s Tennis confronts rival on their first home game


Rishi Ramesh

Varsity women’s tennis huddles in a circle, performing their team chant before the match.

Hey! did you know,

Did you hear about that team?

They ace their serves,

They win their rallies,

Don’t you know it’s…

Dougherty Valley’s varsity Women’s Tennis lost their first home game with a close score of 5-4 against their self-proclaimed rival, Foothill High School on Sept. 9, leaving with valuable takeaways.

Though Dougherty had consistently won against Foothill in previous years, the team was still concerned about the upcoming game. Before this game, both teams had only played two other schools. Foothill had a score of 2-0 while Dougherty was at 1-1, having won against Granada High School but lost to San Ramon Valley High School. 

“We didn’t play Foothill last season,” said Allison Cui, one of the varsity co-captains. “The year before, I remember that they were pretty strong but we were able to beat them. But this year I think it’s going to be more of a struggle.”

This apprehensive sentiment was shared by many, even those on the opposing team. 

“Dougherty has always been a challenging team for us, and they’re really good competition … [we think] this is our first real competition [of the season],” said Foothill junior Ella Thurlow. 

Head Coach Dudley Kuboi also returns the attitude, comparing this season’s statistics between the two schools. 

“[Foothill] actually beat Granada High School last week 8-1. We beat Granada 6-3. So if you look at those scores, I think we have some work cut out for us,” he said. “If Foothill brings in a better team, [we will] congratulate them.”

The year before, I remember that they were pretty strong but we were able to beat them. But this year I think it’s going to be more of a struggle.

In 84 degree weather, on what Coach Dudley described as “not a really hot day,” the two varsity teams lined up in separate lines along the tennis courts. The team captains announced the structure for the game: six games of singles and three games of doubles. 

Ultimately, a congratulations was required from Dougherty as all three sets of doubles players and two singles players lost their matches while the four remaining singles players won.

Junior Jiwho Kwun played #1 singles and won both sets with respective scores 6-3 and 4-0, though her opponent’s foot injury resulted in the match’s discontinuation. 

The match itself was tense, but Kwun’s strong serve and ability to return difficult shots eventually led to her victory.

Kwun remarked that Foothill as a whole is a strong and well-rounded team.

“They have really powerful strokes … [and] are overall pretty solid,” Kwun said.

However, senior Maya Civi and senior Heidi Tam, who played #1 doubles, didn’t have the same success for this match, losing two sets 6-3 and 6-1.

This was Civi’s first doubles match一she traditionally played singles.

“Towards the beginning and middle [of the match] I felt like [playing doubles] isn’t for me,” Civi said. 

Despite this newfound obstacle, Civi has already understood what she must do to overcome it. 

“What I can do is to continue to give my best effort and try to move up so I can play the kind of tennis I want,” she said. From the match though, she reaffirmed where her strength lies.

Tam also mentioned that she could improve on her volleys in specific.

“I know that the Foothill team scored a lot of points by hitting volleys,” Tam said. “[And] I felt like every single point was critical to moving on.”

Overall, freshman Matilda Lin felt like the team could’ve had more spirit and energy.

“When we were doing the lineup, [Foothill was] all happy, and we were nervous,” Lin said. 

But even through the defeat, the players were able to gain new insights like in any game一win or lose.

“We learn a bit from each school because every school is different. You kind of have to just go in there and look at what you can improve on and how the other team is,” said sophomore Isabella Ferreira. 

Despite the challenge that Foothill presented to Dougherty, the JV women’s tennis team was able to retaliate, ending the game in a tie with a total score 3-3. Previously, the JV team swept away San Ramon Valley and Granada with a score of 6-0 both times. 

Dougherty’s next game will occur on Oct. 5 at San Ramon Valley High School.