Semifinal round action in the tennis sections on May 9 saw Escalon’s team fall to the eventual Section champs, Placer, by a 7-2 final. The contest was played at Placer High School and the Cougars battled all the way through.
Wins for Escalon came at both girls singles, with number one Taylor Laugero and number two Josie Redberg both topping their Placer opponents.
“Taylor played a great match and beat her opponent 6-0, 6-0. She stayed focused the entire match and strategically hit smart shots. She was amazing,” explained coach Staci Diaz.
In Redberg’s match, Diaz said they played a super tiebreaker to 10 for the third set since the overall match had already been decided.
“Josie went three sets with a really good opponent. She was able to pull it out in the third set by being consistent and placing the ball,” Diaz explained. “I was impressed by her mental toughness in the third set.”
The loss ended Escalon’s team season and Placer then went on to defeat TVL top seed Riverbank in the Section finals.
“Even though we didn’t make it to the finals, we had a great season, and I’m proud of all the kids. They have so much pride for their school,” Diaz said.
Then it was off to the individual sections for the semifinals and finals in singles play for Laugero, coming back after a rain delay the previous week. The time off only sharpened Laugero’s focus.
“Taylor won sections, her semifinals match was 6-0, 6-0 and her finals match was 6-2, 6-1,” Diaz said of Laugero mowing down her opponents, including the finals match win against a Natomas opponent for the individual Section title.
“She won sections as a freshman, and she won it as senior,” Diaz said of the bookends for Laugero’s high school tennis career. “I am so proud of her. She went undefeated this entire season and did it with grace.
“I just wish I had another year to coach her. She is such nice person, and she is such a hard worker. Taylor definitely deserved to win the championship match.”