First published in the Nov. 18 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Mayfield Senior’s varsity girls’ tennis team lost at Fullerton Sunny Hills in the CIF Division III semifinals, 12-6, last Wednesday, ending what senior captain Michelle Cheng described as a “historic” season for the Cubs.
Although Mayfield fell two wins shy of its ultimate goal, the Cubs shared the Prep League championship with Westridge and Polytechnic with identical 6-2 league records. (It was the first time since 2017 that Mayfield earned that honor, according to Cheng.) Mayfield also posted a 13-2 overall mark.
“I think … just making it to the CIF quarterfinals was a historic standing and also not forgetting the Prep League championship that we shared with Poly and Westridge,” Michelle Cheng said. “I think our overall goal was just to keep going. We already knew we were going against some top-seeded schools, so coming into CIF as an unranked team, we found it pretty admirable to be able to reach the point that we did and we are all pretty collectively happy with how we came out of it.”
The Cubs’ No. 1 doubles team of senior captain Rebecca Leiva and Aurora Rago, and the No. 3 doubles team of Sheryl Cheng and Anna Kingston, each recorded two wins. Leiva and Rago beat Sunny Hills’ No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams 6-4 and 6-2, respectively, while Cheng and Kingston beat the No. 1 and No. 3 teams 6-1 and 6-3, respectively.
Michelle Cheng and doubles teammate Sarah Leiva added a 7-5 victory over Sunny Hills’ No. 2 team to give the Cubs a 5-4 doubles advantage.
However, Sunny Hills dominated the singles matches as Mayfield’s Samantha Frick tallied the Cubs’ lone victory, 6-0, over Sunny Hills No. 1 player.
CIF QUARTERFINAL WIN
The Cubs edged visiting Rancho Cucamonga, 10-8, in the CIF quarterfinals on Nov. 8 to punch a ticket to the CIF semifinals against Sunny Hills High.
Cubs’ No. 2 singles player Frick, No. 2 doubles team Rebecca and Sarah Leiva, and No. 3 doubles team Sheryl and Michelle Cheng carried the load as each earned sweeps.
Mayfield narrowly defeated visiting Wilson High of Hacienda Heights in the second round CIF on Friday, Nov. 5, primarily due to the Cubs’ No. 2 doubles team of Rebecca and Sarah Leiva and No. 3 team of Sheryl and Michelle Cheng each earning sweeps.
The sister teams of Rebecca and Sarah Leiva won 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, while the other sister team of Sheryl and Michelle Cheng beat their opponents 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.
“Rebecca and I came from the same middle school and the fact that we have to say goodbye after 12 years of playing tennis together is definitely going to be very sentimental, very full circle,” Michelle Cheng said after Mayfield’s semifinal loss to Sunny Hills. “Even getting to the semifinals this year was extremely, extremely rewarding for both of us and also this is my last year that I got to play with my sister, Sheryl. So along with Rebecca and her own sister [Sarah], it’s going to be pretty bitter-sweet just to say bye. I am very grateful that I was able to play with my sister in numerous matches this year, especially during CIF when I was able to play doubles with her; that was very fun.”
In singles match play, Frick recorded 7-5 and 6-0 wins over Wilson High’s No. 2 and No. 3 players, and Mia Martinez won one singles game 6-1.
MAYFIELD BEATS KEPPEL
The Cubs narrowly won a tough match at Alhambra Mark Keppel, 10-8, in the first round of CIF on Nov. 3.
It was a team effort as each player or team recorded at least one victory.
Mayfield’s No. 1 singles player Martinez won two sets 6-3 and 6-0, No. 2 player Frick beat Mark Keppel No. 2 and No. 3 singles players 6-0, and No. 3 player Sheryl Cheng won 6-1 and 6-0.
Cubs No. 2 sisters double team Rebecca and Sarah Leiva beat Mark Keppel No. 2 and No. 3 teams 7-6 and 6-0, respectively. Meanwhile, No. 1 doubles team Michelle Cheng and Kingston, and No. 3 team Rago and Luisa Stolpe each won one set, 6-1 and 6-4, respectively.
MAYFIELD BLANKS MAYFAIR
Mayfield completely dominated visiting Lakewood Mayfair, 18-0, to win the CIF wildcard match on Nov. 2 and advance to the tournament’s first round.
Mayfield singles players were nearly perfect as No. 2 singles player Sheryl Cheng and No. 3 Frick beat all opponents 6-0. Additionally, No. 1 singles player Rebecca Leiva swept her opponents 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.
Meanwhile, Cubs’ doubles teams were also dominant. The No. 1 doubles team Sarah Leiva and Rago beat their opponents 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
The No. 3 team of Michelle Cheng and Kingston swept their opponents 6-1 and 6-0 before being alternated for Iris Yoo and Grace Nguyen, who won their lone game 6-3.
Cubs No. 2 doubles team Martinez and Stolpe earned a 6-0 victory over Mayfair’s No. 1 team before rotating with Abigail Beegle and Marley Carolan, who won their two games 6-0 and 6-2.