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El Dorado breaks through, reaches semifinals
PLACENTIA – In their first three years at El Dorado, seniors Natalie Etchegaray, Joanna David and Michelle Cyrus saw their team make it to the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals. Then, they saw the team lose.
Now in their senior seasons, the No. 4 Hawks’ trio took it upon themselves to make sure it didn’t happen again, leading El Dorado into the semifnals with a 12-6 win over visiting Diamond Bar on Tuesday.
El Dorado will be at Santa Barbara for Thursday’s semifinal. Santa Barbara defeated Los Alamitos, 14-4, on Tuesday.
Etchegaray, the oldest of three sisters on the El Dorado team, swept all three of her singles matches 6-1, 6-3 and 7-5.
“It’s really important to us. We wanted to at least get back to the quarters, but then the goal changed,” she said. “We’ve been really motivated. We have so many seniors who have been on this team for the last four years.
“This is our last hurrah.”
Juniors Gabrielle Etchegaray and Bridget Etchegaray added wins in two sets each.
On the doubles courts, it was the senior pairing of Cyrus and David that set a strong tone from the very start, defeating Diamond Bar’s top doubles team 6-1 to start the match.
“There was some pressure at the start,” Michelle Cyrus said. “It was a little scary, but we pulled it out. Winning the first match like that, it was important.”
El Dorado head coach John Cyrus, Michelle’s father, said the Hawks’ No. 1 doubles team has been leading by example all season.
“They’ve been setting the tone for us the whole way,” he said. “It was just huge.”
And despite being faced with lose-and-go-home matches, Michelle Cyrus and David are still managing to thrive.
“We have a lot more fun than most of the teams,” David said. “And we don’t get mad at each other over dumb things because we want to try and keep each other up.”
The winning has the Hawks’ head coach smiling.
“This sends a message,” he said. “We can play some tennis out here.”