Taylor Cleland, Jordan Babich go 1-2 in NCS Division 2 doubles play
The Del Norte High doubles team of senior Taylor Cleland and sophomore Jordan Babich finished in fourth place at the California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section Division 2 doubles championships on Nov. 13–14 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
“I was extremely impressed with the play of the girls and very proud of their efforts,” Warriors coach Jane Rumiano said in an e-mail. “Their attitude was that they were playing to win, not playing to not lose, and they figured out during the tournament what that actually meant.”
Cleland and Babich matched up against Dani Hogan and Sophia Kelly of Convent of the Sacred Heart High of San Francisco. (Eight teams competed in NCS Division 2 doubles play.) The Warriors dropped a difficult first set, 7-5, but came back to win the second and third sets, 6-4, 6-3, and advance.
“We started off really nervous but we came through,” Cleland said. “I thought it could be my last match, so I was excited.
“We played really good. We were moving our feet really good, and all of our shots were going in. We let them make the errors.”
That victory led to a matchup against the bracket’s No. 1 seed, Ishani Synghal and Kira Wang from College Prep High in Oakland, half an hour after the completion of the first match. Synghal and Wang made quick work of Cleland and Babich, winning 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the final.
“They were amazing,” Cleland said. “We were just lazy.”
Cleland and Babich were able to play a consolation match to determine third place, against Charlotte Lobdell and Ella Storey of Marin Academy of San Rafael, on Nov. 14.
Down 4-1 in the first set, the Del Norte girls rallied to force a tiebreaker, eventually winning the first set. Lobdell and Storey easily took the second set and took the third set with difficulty for a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4 victory and third-place honors.
“We got down (on ourselves),” Cleland said. “When we got down, we played poorly. We were both pretty even, both teams.”
The Warriors sent Kathryn Gustafson to the NCS Division 2 singles championships and Cleland and Sam Bausch to the doubles championships in 2011, but neither team won a match.