As the sun began to set at Long Beach Poly on Wednesday, the intensity was rising. The Jackrabbits were hosting Geffen Academy in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 girls’ tennis semifinals, and Poly held a narrow lead midway through the final round of play.
Time was called in a singles match (Poly led 5-4) over a dispute about whether a ball was in or out.
It lasted over 10 minutes as both coaches argued over what should be done regarding the point–the Poly player called it out, but Geffen Academy line judge said it was in. In high school tennis, players typically call their own lines, although line judges can be requested.
While the argument carried on, two Poly doubles pairs won and quietly clinched the victory for the Jackrabbits.
With the 11-7 team victory, the Jackrabbits advanced to Friday’s championship against San Dimas at 1:30 p.m. at the Claremont Club in Claremont.
“We are taking a field trip!” Jackrabbits coach Douglas Schlueter told his team.
The Jackrabbits were led by senior Julia Sutedjo, who won all three of her singles matches and dropped only one game.
“I’ve been killing my shots lately,” she said. “Just moving around and training more.”
Seven of the Jackrabbits’ 11 points came from their doubles’ teams and Schlueter said the groups just “balance each other out.”
Amy Peng and Kate Lim went 3-0 for Poly while Hannah Tran and Melyn Lim went 2-1 to help clinch the team victory.
It wasn’t a memorable regular season for the Jackrabbits, who finished in third place in the Moore League–but Schlueter said the team “came to play” when they began their playoffs… all the way back in the wild card round.
Now the team is one win away from a CIF-SS title on Friday, which would be first in program history.