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Game, Set, Match

​​This fall, high school girls’ tennis teams completed another successful season. Jurupa Valley finished as league champions, while Patriot and Rubidoux finished third in their respective leagues.

Diana and Stefanie, #1 doubles“We’ve built a really successful girls’ tennis championship team out here for the last four years,” said Craig Sevey, JVHS assistant coach. “We were led by a very effective captain this year. She did a great job of being able to rally the girls together and making sure that we were competitive on the court.”

Diana Lopez, team captain, was named league MVP along with her #1 doubles partner, Stefanie Corona. The pair went undefeated during the league season and qualified for CIF Individuals. Though Diana and Stefanie have developed a strong partnership, they acknowledge it may not seem that way from the outside.

“It’s tough love,” said Stefanie. “That’s exactly it,” agreed Diana. “We don’t hug or anything [after scoring a point]. Most we do is tap rackets.” “But we don’t get offended,” assured Stefanie. “We have the same personality.”


Daisy and Sarah with Coach Allmon
Though Diana and Stefanie have found success in their approach, each doubles team works differently. Patriot athletes Daisy Romero and Sarah Gutierrez value each other’s differences, with Daisy having the strong forehand while Sarah has the more powerful serve. They relied on each other’s skills and support to get through this season’s toughest matches.

“We did have ups and downs, but we know how to pull each other up if we’re having a bad day. We know how to be there for each other,” shared Daisy. “The friendships you make during tennis - it’s incredible. We’ve been playing as doubles partners [ever since we met]. It’s made us a stronger team.”

During practices for CIF Individuals, teammates showed up to help Daisy and Sarah prepare, as well as continue honing their skills during the offseason. “Tennis is in our bloodstream here at Patriot,” said Otis Allmon, PHS head coach. 

When his athletes face a tough loss, Coach Allmon encourages them to channel their frustration into inspiration. Whatever an opponent does during a match to beat a Patriot player, that player will work on developing during practice. “You never really lose,” he said. “It’s always just a temporary setback and gives you that fuel to get back to practice.”


Erika, #1 SinglesSetbacks were common for all JUSD tennis teams this year. Losing advanced athletes to graduation and the difficulties of recruiting new players after a year of distance learning resulted in many uncertainties as the girls began their season. 

Rubidoux had only one returning athlete - Erika Guardamondo, a #1 singles player with an RHS court named after her due to her impressive 200 career wins. But a team cannot compete with one player, no matter how talented. There was concern that RHS may not find enough girls to participate, but recruiting efforts by the assistant coach saved the day. Though many of Rubidoux’s players had never picked up a racket until this year, the team is proud of their overall performance.

“One of the best experiences was having Erika out here because she really brought the girls in,” said Paul Janeway, RHS head coach. “Watching her play really motivated our group.”

“I love tennis because it brings the competitive [side] out of me,” shared Erika, who went undefeated in league and qualified for CIF Individuals. “Even if I don’t show it, I know I’m always having fun.”