STORY BY MATT SIMON
Since joining the Moore League in 2013, California Academy of Mathematics and Science hasn’t fielded a girls tennis singles champion.
On Monday at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, sophomore Jody Chang made history for the Rabels as she defeated Wilson’s Madelyn Tadd 6-2, 7-5 to become CAMS first Moore League singles champion.
“It feels good to win,” Chang said. “I hope I win Moore League next year, it’d be great to win two years in a row.”
Chang used an assortment of swings to keep Tadd guessing and moving throughout the match, something she wanted to do heading into the final.
“My dad always said either you run them or you’re going to get run,” Chang said. “So I just tried to move her around the court.”
Chang’s strategy worked flawlessly in the first set, but Tadd came out fast to take a 3-0 lead.
But, Chang slowly started to chip away at Tadd’s lead before tying the set at 3 before going on a 4-2 run to win the match.
“I was just thinking I got to be more focused and make more shots,” Chang said after trailing in the second set. “I just had to get back to what I did in the first set that got me the lead.”
In the doubles final, Poly’s Ava Degzuman and Katherine Johnson topped Millikan’s Maya Alverez and Kailee Mazzeo 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win their third consecutive Moore League doubles title.
It wasn’t easy as the Jackrabbits as Johnson was a little gassed after defeating Alverez for third place shortly before the doubles final began.
“It was exhausting,” Johnson said. “But Ava really pushed me threw it and if I didn’t have her as a partner I probably wouldn’t have done so well.”
Deguzman was motivating Johnson in between serves and during breaks throughout the match as she looked to help her teammate get through the match.
“I think we have a bond close enough where I can some constructive criticism,” Deguzman said. “Usually I just give her tips on serves or to close in on volleys more, just strategic stuff to adjust to the opponents.”