The Aragon girls’ tennis team clinched its second straight trip to the Central Coast Section playoffs this past week and is looking to improve upon its second-round exit a year ago.
“It’s a nice honor to get in [to CCS],” Aragon coach Ed Schuler said. “They exceeded expectations.”
Aragon (11-3) finished in second place in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division and won the CCS qualifying tournament over Carlmont.
The Dons started out slow at 3-2, but quickly picked up steam, going 8-1 in their final nine matches.
“We got a little bit of momentum,” Schuler said.
In the midst of the season was the Palo Alto High School Tennis Tournament, and the Dons won their match against host Palo Alto 11-7. Aragon also lost a close match against a tough Lynbrook team 11-7.
“It got us thinking, ‘Hey, we’re not too bad,’” he said. “The more matches that they play, it grows the confidence.”
Aragon will open play in the first round of the CCS playoffs on Tuesday.
The Dons were selected as an at-large team into the CCS playoffs last season and won their opening-round match against Sobrato before falling to fourth-seeded Mitty in the second round.
Aragon has won seven consecutive matches and has not lost since Oct. 6 against league champion Burlingame.
Aragon came into this season with four strong singles players, including a new No. 1 singles player in transfer Kaede Ishikawa.
The all-league sophomore transferred from Mills where she reached the CCS doubles quarterfinals after winning the berth in the PAL Tournament.
Ishikawa played in a number of USTA junior tournaments in the 16-year-old division last summer as a 14-year-old.
Junior Samantha Wong was a second team all-league selection.
Sophomores Victoria Sun and Melissa Ma have provided solid production out of the Nos. 3 and 4 spots for Schuler.
Amy Jiang and Christina Hsu make up the No. 1 doubles team that keyed a lone victory in the team’s loss to Menlo.
“Any time you can take a match from Menlo is outstanding,” Schuler said.
But Schuler says his team needs to be more consistent in its doubles play and limit the number of mental mistakes.
“They got to make sure not to beat themselves,” he said.