The girls worked extra hard this year to get to the CIF finals for the first time in 21 years
■ By Alex Cass / Contributed
For the first time in 21 years, Hemet High School’s Girls’ Tennis Team competed in California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Division Finals! Their dream to make this a successful season, coupled with the attitude of taking it one game at a time, allowed the team to make it to CIF. The team ultimately lost to Rancho Mirage High School, but the team’s spirit has continued.
The team began practicing for the season during the summer.
“I think this team wanted to stand out and write their own story,” said Hemet High Girls’ Tennis Coach Catherine White. Throughout the season the team discussed the importance of teamwork and staying focused on the task at hand. They stressed the importance of taking the season one match at a time. White said the team was determined all year on making it to CIF, because it hadn’t been done in more than two decades.
Their dream became surreal when they were named co-league champions and were told they would advance to CIF. Seeing the look on the girls’ faces after being named co-league champions was the most memorable part of the season, said White.
“I think I knew then that we would get to finals, solely on knowing how hard they had and would continue to work,” said White.
This year’s team consisted of the singles players: Heather Richards, Zoe Marsh, and Jennifer Cox; doubles players: Heidi Buri and Simone Springer, Mikayla Romeril and Jaden Peel, and Jordynn Puckett and Abby Carl. Buri and Springer also won league individuals and qualified for CIF individuals.
White said the teams’ substitutes Bayley Jones, Shiki Page, Kim Back and Ashlyn Dunn and team manager Cassi Tichy added to the success and overall inspiration for this season!
“I do have to say that I have never been a part of a team as a player or a coach that has worked this hard, dreamed this big, and had this much faith in themselves and their teammates,” said White. She continued to express her admiration for the team and how they inspire her to be a better coach.
Congratulations Coach White and Hemet High’s Girls’ Tennis team on making it to the CIF Division Finals for the first time in 21 years! We look forward to watching you in action next season.