The SPHS girls’ tennis team (not in order): Caitlin Birky, Mayra DeLeon, Veronica Esparza, Jasmine Garcia, Talisa Garcia, Angela Gutierrez, Ciana Lee, Laniah Lee, Ariana Lopez, Valeria Mancilla, Sabrina Martinez, Evelyn Oehmke, Heidi Oehmke and Margie Smith.

Tennis team shows improvement

September 29, 2006
“The girls are a blast to work with”
Sports
The SPHS girls’ tennis team has started another season and this year they’re definitely showing improvement on the courts. Individually, many of the girls are winning matches. The doubles teams are frequently winning as well.Coach Jerry Cruz is a product of Santa Paula High School. He graduated in 2004 after playing tennis for the first time that year on the boys’ team. He’s been playing ever since and taking private lessons. He came back two years ago to help out coach Alexis Ortiz. Last year he co-coached the team with Ortiz and this year took over the program.Cruz says coaching is great. “The girls are a blast to work with,” he said. “It keeps my game up, because when I help them I help myself. We’ve definitely upped our level this year. I had about nine returnees from last year. The level of participation in general has been incredible.”Cruz says some of the girls have played during the off-season. He also has a number of girls who play other sports in the spring and winter. “A couple of girls actually took a summer class at Ventura College wit me,” Cruz added.
Cruz said they’ve had one of the best starts for a season this year. There are more teams in the league this year because of the league re-alignment. Some of the teams are new opponents for Santa Paula, including Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure. “Every game is going to be a new start,” he said. “I think we’ll do okay.”



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