On Oct. 18, Capistrano Valley High girls tennis beat Trabuco Hills High 16-2 to become the school's first league champions in over 20 years.
Not only did they win, but the Cougars swept their division competitors.
Here Coach Terri Machado tells Patch what it was like leading such an accomplished team of young athletes. She said standout players like Brooke Briseno, Katie Ta and Madeleine Hoffman helped raise Capo tennis to new heights.
Patch: When did you first think this team was special?
Coach Terri Machado: I started working with these girls in August. We had returning players. I just knew, I just knew this group of girls was different. They were fun, they were hard-working, everything a coach could ask for in a team, from seniors to freshmen. Every coach would love to have a team like this.
Patch: What was it like coaching this team?
Machado: It was fun. I’ve never been closer to a team than this group of girls. They had good sense of humors, they were hard-working, they did everything a coach could ask of them. They stayed on everything I asked them to do. I cannot ask more from a team than what these kids did.
Patch: Is there one win that stands out for you this season?
Machado: Yes, the Laguna Hills win. We were a little tired the second time we played them, but we knew we had to beat them to win the league, and we won 10-8. We had some injuries, sickness, school studies, but we pulled it out. And that was really a strong, defining moment for us. We did what a team needed to do because we had the goal in mind of being champions.
Patch: After sweeping their division, what's next for this team?
Machado: We’re still in the C.I.F., we’re waiting to go in there. Right now we’re in the individuals, and we have Brooke, Katie and Sarah Mijalli and Alex Wartenberg in the semi-finals. We keep moving along like the Little Engine that Could.
Patch: What do you expect of next year's team?
Machado: I expect the same. There’s a bonding that’s gone on with this group. We just have a ton of amazing young kids.