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Girls tennis: New playoff groupings announced
The CIF-SS released its new girls tennis playoff groupings for the 2016 season on Friday afternoon, and with the new competitive equity model in place for the upcoming campaign, there were no real shockers when the groupings were officially announced.
Because there has been buzz about a new playoff format for several months now, many local coaches knew as early as last fall that their teams could possibly be moving up (or down) a division based on a power-points profile that takes into account a squad’s regular season and playoff performance over the past two school years.
“Things went pretty well for us the past two seasons, so we were expecting to jump up from Division 3,” Yorba Linda High coach Rey Lejano said on Friday. “We just didn’t know how far up we would jump – to Division 1 or 2. We landed in Division 2 and that’s about right.”
The Mustangs had won back-to-back North Hills League crowns and finished as the runner-up in last year’s Division 3 bracket, a strong two-year resume that made them a prime candidate to move up.
Valencia, the team that beat Yorba Linda to win the Division 3 crown last November, made the most significant jump on Friday, moving all the way up to Division 1. The Tigers have won 40 matches over the past two seasons, and prior to winning the D. 3 title in 2015, they finished as runners-up in 2014.
“I’m a little surprised,” Tigers coach Mike McCall acknowledged. “I was thinking we might have gone to (Division) 2. We have one tournament player, and I always think of schools (Division) 1 schools as having several tournament players. So yeah, I’m surprised. But this is something that you have no control over. You just play whoever they tell you to play.”
Valencia is one of 18 Orange County schools currently housed in Division 1. Based on their power-point profiles, the other local schools competing in the top division will be: Corona del Mar, University, Santa Margarita, Dana Hills, San Clemente, Newport Harbor, Villa Park, JSerra, Troy, Los Alamitos, Sage Hill, Northwood, Mater Dei, Laguna Beach, Tesoro, El Dorado and Fountain Valley.