The Coast Union High School (CUHS) Girls Tennis Team is in the middle of a winning season, currently 6-4 with wins over Orcutt Academy, Lompoc, Santa Maria, Nipomo, and Paso Robles.
According to new head coach Rich Mendoza, “We have been fortunate to have a great group of young ladies who enjoy playing the game of tennis together. They are a joy to be around every day. I am very impressed with their work ethic and the way they support and help one another on and off the court. These girls will all be successful in life. They are high character individuals who are active in school activities, have their own jobs or carry AP classes. Selfishly, I wish the seniors were juniors, so we could be around this group another year.”
The team is composed of 13 players: ten seniors, two juniors, and one freshman. Singles player Emmy Johnson has led the way with a 19-5 record in sets played. Emmy has a strong first serve and is very consistent from the baseline. Singles players Brianna Ellis and Nallely Dealba have won twelve and eight sets respectively. Brianna has been aggressive at the net in her singles play, while Nallely is a lefty with a smooth swing. Junior Yara Martinez, another left-hander, has excelled at both singles and doubles, led by her strong backhand play.
Doubles standouts have been returners—Sarah Garcia, Lupe Carbajal, Esme Andrade and Rory Cloward—who have all seen success this season, winning 49 sets. The team also has a great crop of newcomers: seniors Evan Seed, Brianna Reddell, Alexa Aguilar; junior Wendy Garcia; and freshman Gabby Espinoza—all emerging players who learned the game and found success on the court. Alexa and Brianna R. come from other sports and picked up the game quickly, while Evan, Wendy, and Gabby came in with minimal experience and have improved to the point where they win matches.
Former coach Ronnie Ruggles has been a mainstay with this year’s group, driving the team bus for most of the away games. Ruggles coached these seniors as freshman and sophomores, laying the foundation for this successful senior season. Local tennis teaching pro Barrett Stuart has been a great addition as the assistant coach to the team, bringing valuable experience and on court play to challenge the team. The team also thanks the Cambria Tennis Club for their support and care of the courts and continuous efforts to grow the game in our community.