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V Girls Tennis

Regular Season 2016-17
2016-17 x Regular Season

Recent V Girls Tennis News

In his first season heading Vista Murrieta’s program, Chad Spitler knew he wouldn’t have to worry about the top of his singles lineup with seniors Emma Vanderhyden and Therese Recidoro leading the way.

“Having Emma and Therese was an unbelievable gift,” Spitler said. “I knew they were going to be strong and come up with points virtually every time.”

Some coaches might have been content to sit back and see how far the two aces could take them. But Spitler understood the Broncos would need more than that to get to the next level in the Southwestern League and CIF-SS Division 2.

Spitler’s tinkering with the doubles lineup early in the season, and his ability to manage the personalities affected by it, were the biggest keys to the Broncos’ late-season run that resulted in Vista Murrieta’s first-ever CIF finals appearance.

“(Doubles) definitely was a process throughout the season,” Spitler said.

One early move Spitler made was pairing Dani Aribere with Taylor Johnson, which turned out to be the first piece of the puzzle. By the end of the season, Tori Paller and Julie Kim had coalesced their partnership and former singles standout Maddie Bush and Julia Weng had become a force in the No. 1 doubles slot.

“Once Taylor and Dani came together as a team it allowed everybody else to fall into place,” Spitler said. “Even when they weren’t winning they were still keeping sets close.”

Vista Murrieta went 4-1 in both halves of league to finish second behind Murrieta Valley, but the Broncos improved every score, including playing the Nighthawks to a 10-8 loss the second time around after losing the first meeting, 14-4.

“Our team played its best tennis at the end of the year,” Broncos athletic director Coley Candaele said, “which is always a great coaching performance.”

CLAREMONT – Simply by qualifying for the program’s first-ever CIF final in the sport, Vista Murrieta’s 2016 squad had already established itself as best girls tennis team in the school’s 13-year chronicle.

The Broncos fell just short of capping their landmark run with the ultimate prize – the CIF-SS Division 2 championship – when they ran into a Palos Verdes team in search of its own piece of history.

Paced by a youthful starting lineup dotted with tournament-ranked players, the Sea Kings defeated Vista Murrieta, 11-7, for their first title since 1974.

“Either way, we made Vista history and that’s what matters deep down in my heart,” Broncos doubles player Julia Weng said. “We left all of our passion and energy and drive for the game out on the court and that’s all we could ask for.”

Vista Murrieta’s singles, led by Emma Vanderhyden and Therese Recidoro, have been its main strength all season, but from the first round on it was apparent Palos Verdes had the edge in that department.

Paced by midseason sophomore transfer Jenna Sloan, the Sea Kings (14-3), who started five freshmen and just one senior, were able to win all but one set in singles; a second-round win by Vanderhyden over No. 3 Mia Linan.

It was the first time all season Vanderhyden lost two of three sets, as well as her first losses in the playoffs, and the first time Recidoro had been on the wrong end of a sweep all year.

“They were by far the best singles players we’ve seen throughout the tournament,” Vista Murrieta coach Chad Spitler said. “We knew today was the day the doubles had to step up and they did towards the end. It was just a little too late.”

Weng and Maddie Bush teamed to win all three of their sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, and teammates Taylor Johnson and Dani Aribere pulled off two sets wins, 6-3, 6-3. Julie Kim and Tori Paller added another doubles win for Vista Murrieta.

Vista Murrieta (13-5) was down, 7-5, heading into the third round, where Sloan quickly won her match to make it 8-5.

Weng and Bush’s win over Palos Verdes’ No. 1 team pulled the Broncos back to within 8-6, but another singles loss put Vista Murrieta on the brink and the Sea Kings closed it out moments later with a win in doubles.

“It’s not fun to lose, but honestly, I’m so proud of how far we’ve come,” Bush said. “We’ve never done this before so it’s really an amazing feeling to be the first people to get this far. We gave our best today and that’s all we had.”

Vista Murrieta makes first ever tennis final

11/09/2016, 8:30am PST

Wednesday’s CIF-SS Division 2 girls tennis semifinal pitted a Vista Murrieta team looking for its first-ever finals appearance against a Riverside Poly squad that has been a finalist three years running.

The Broncos’ quest for history trumped the Bears’ bid to maintain one of the more impressive streaks in area lore, as Vista Murrieta pulled out a 10-8 victory at Poly.

“It’s unreal; if you had asked me at the beginning of the season, I would not have thought we would be where we are now,” said Broncos No. 1 singles Emma Vanderhyden, who swept, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. “Just finding the right lineup was key and our team chemistry got so much better as the season went on. The attitude of fighting for each other really came about and that was huge in winning matches.”

Vista Murrieta (12-4), which will meet Palos Verdes in the finals at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Clremont Club, had a battle on its hands going into the third round after Poly (24-3) had rallied to tie the match at 6.

The Broncos took a 50-48 lead in games into the third and swelled that margin on a 6-1 win by Vanderhyden and a 6-1 win by the doubles team of Julia Weng and Maddie Bush, who won two sets on the day.

Therese Recidoro beat Dani Baum, 6-2, to complete her own sweep and put Vista Murrieta up 8-7 before Weng and Bush’s win gave the Broncos a 9-7 advantage and an insurmountable lead in games in the event of a tiebreaker.

That proved to be unnecessary when Tori Paller and Julie Kim came from behind to beat Poly’s Maxelle Bernie and Torrey Mateljan, 6-4, in the final set of the day.

Vista Murrieta’s last three playoff matches have all been decided by four sets or fewer, including a 9-9 win on games in the second round.

“They’ve been great under pressure,” first-year Broncos coach Chad Spitler said. “They all step up to the challenge, especially this late in playoffs.”

Vista Murrieta lost to Poly in its second game of the season, 11-7, on Sept. 6, which prompted Spitler to move Bush out of the singles lineup and into doubles. The team has gone 11-3 since with its only losses coming to Division 1 teams Murrieta Valley (twice) and Riverside King.

“That lineup change was the main key,” Vanderhyden said. “(Maddie) and Julia work great together.”

Poly got a doubles sweep from Laney Baum and Jasmine Dhalla, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

The previous best playoff run for Vista Murrieta was a quarterfinal appearance in 2013, when Vanderhyden, Recidoro, Bush and Weng first cracked the starting lineup as freshmen.


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