Ava Deguzman
Cabrillo Compton Jordan Lakewood Long Beach Poly Millikan Tennis Wilson

Long Beach Girls’ Tennis Preview

The world of Moore League tennis tends to swing like a pendulum, typically between the city’s two oldest schools, Long Beach Poly and WIlson. The Jackrabbits have won the last four Moore League titles, while the Bruins had won the five before that. This year looks like a pair of epic showdowns could be in store when the teams meet on Sept. 24 and Oct. 11.

Moore League play opens Tuesday afternoon with Millikan visiting CAMS, Lakewood visiting Cabrillo, Poly traveling to Compton, and Jordan visiting Wilson.


The Jackrabbits had an undefeated regular season in 2017 and return their entire singles slate including sophomore Ava Deguzman, the reigning Moore League individual champion, and Kate Johnson, the league runner-up. Poly’s number three, Lola Underwood, is also back and looking strong.

“It’s a pretty solid base, I think we certainly look good on paper,” said longtime Poly coach Ricardo Montecinos. “You can never really predict injuries or how a team fits together.”

The Jackrabbits finished last year No. 3 in the CIF-SS Division 3 rankings, but their undefeated regular season and quarterfinal run in the playoffs earned them a move up to Division 2, which will pose a tougher postseason task.

The Jackrabbits do have strength up and down the lineup including with seniors Mey Phy and Sarah Soderberg, one of the top doubles pairs in CIF last year.


An unexpected transfer has Wilson coach Keri McBride excited about her team’s chances to win a league title for the first time in four years. Senior Bella Nguyen moved from Texas over the summer, and she’s already made the Bruins better. Despite her diminutive stature, Nguyen is strong from the baseline and has a nine universal tennis rating.

“Her presence is super motivating to these girls because they see how good she is,” McBride said. “They’re just more open to someone who is much better than they are. They’re influenced by her, and this group is hungry. We’re going to give Poly a run for its money.”

McBride said sophomores Maddie Padd and Olivia Mancillas also will be key to Wilson’s success.


Coach Lindsay Bobo has a real luxury leading her team this year in Sarah Harges, a four-year varsity player. Sophomore Sophie Vikram is also a top singles player on a squad with just five returning players at the varsity level. Last year’s third-place team is hoping to make a move in the standings this season.

“We have a relatively newer squad,” said Bobo. “We’re hoping to get at least third place this year and have more competitive matches against Wilson and Poly.”


The Rams are led by longtime coach Torie Frapwell, and have gotten an influx of young talent to the team that could see them moving up in the Moore League. Last year the Rams finished fourth in league, but this year they’ve got a pair of freshmen contributors in Jenny Robbins and Maya Alvarez who are helping to change the culture.

“They’re bring a lot to this team and really waking up the competitive drive overall,” said Frapwell. “I have high hopes for this season.”


Head coach Christian Baldemor is working hard to establish the Cabrillo program, and put on a summer clinic this year to try and make sure his incoming players were more familiar with the sport.

“I have four new freshmen who participated over the summer and they picked it up relatively quickly,” he said.

Ashanti de Lacy and Melany Orozco are the Jaguars’ top returning players, but the freshmen quartet of Sarah da Silva, Vanessa Patino, Letty Patino, and Dahlia Reyes paint a bright image of the picture.

“Hopefully with the infucion of new blood and experienced players, Cabrillo can finally build a solid foundation for girls’ tennis in the future,” said Baldemor.


The Panthers have several returners this year, which head coach Kalvin Chalker loves.

“Our strengths this year are the mental toughness of our veteran players returning,” he said.

Jordan will be led by senior Elaine Contreras, Crystal Santillan, Vanessa Arizmendi, Joceline Valedez, and several other returners.


Compton has a pair of returning singles players in Krystal Perry and Michelle Galindo. Coach William Pratt says he will have a mixed bag after that.

“We have a lot of new faces, some who’ve never played,” he said.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.