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Santa Margarita cruises to first-round victory
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA - When you’ve dealt with as many nagging injuries to key players as No. 3 Santa Margarita has this season, piecing together a capable lineup match to match becomes half the battle.
Despite fielding yet another collage of a lineup in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 girls tennis playoffs, the Eagles (17-2) cruised to a 15-3 victory over La Quinta of La Quinta (14-4) on Wednesday afternoon at Santa Margarita.
“There have been a lot of girls who have played hurt this year,” Eagles No. 1 singles player Alexandra Krogius said, “so we can all relate to one another. Everyone is working hard towards the same goal. ... We’re not focusing on our injuries, but on the outcome of each match.”
Krogius, the Trinity League singles champion, won her first and only set of the match, 6-0, as part of the hosts’ 8-1 edge in singles. Sophomore Alexis Coglitore swept her three sets, 6-4, 6-1, 6-0.
“Some girls play one, one and a half sets, then have to come out,” Eagles coach Eric Michaut said. “They’ll leave the court after their set then run over to the trainer for an ice bath. It’s very rare for all of our girls to play three sets.”
Santa Margarita’s all-freshman No. 2 doubles team of Madelyn Gehrich and Aleyeh Roknaldin (6-4, 6-2, 6-0) and its No. 3 team of Allie Todd and McKenna Krogius (6-4, 7-5, 6-0) were two of the three participates to complete all three sets.
“Our singles have given us a fair amount of points this season, but so have our doubles,” Michaut said of a lineup that has regularly featured just one senior. “We’re very balanced and resilient. It’s really a great group of girls to work with.”
The Eagles, who finished Trinity League play undefeated to claim their seventh consecutive league title, raced out to a 5-1 lead after the first round and swept the second to put the match away.
“We know we’re going to have to play as hard in the next round as we did today,” Michaut said, “because there are no weak teams in the second round.”