Christie Wan’s freshman tennis season ends in record fashion
by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal
SOUTH EL MONTE – Whittier Christian freshman Christie Wan’s sensational tennis season came to an end in the 3rd Round of the CIF-SS Tennis Individuals, Monday afternoon at the Whittier Narrows Tennis Center.
After feeling little resistance in the first two rounds, Wan was paired with Peninsula High sophomore Ena Shibahara, who helped her team win the Division 1 team championship earlier this month.
Shibahara is also ranked No. 3 in the 16s grouping of the United States Tennis Association rankings.
Despite struggling on serve at times, Wan held her own against Shibahara, but Wan’s woes on the serve allowed for some sharp returns from her opposition.
“I need to work on my serve more and just hitting bigger,” Wan said. “Ena’s a great competitor, she didn’t let me breathe during the match, she kept jamming the ball and it was tough.”
After falling behind 2-0 in the first set, Wan battled back to tie before Shibahara took the final four points.
Shibahara took control of the second set early, with Wan scoring her point to make it 5-1.
It was the first and only loss for Wan in a season that saw her break a school record when she reached the 3rd Round of the tournament. No player in Whittier Christian history had made it that far until today.
In the first two rounds, Wan swept Gladstone’s Jessica Rosas 6-0, 6-0 followed by a sound victory over Hacienda Heights Wilson’s Vicky Limayo 6-2, 6-2.
“I felt like the first two matches were a bit easier, I was able to control them,” Wan said. “My serve was much better in the first two matches. I’m really happy with my run, I feel like next year I’ll know more about high school tennis and how to get better.”
Wan finished her freshman season with an overall record of 38-1.
Whittier Christian Head Coach Nicole Nicolaides said that Wan’s experience in making it this far in the CIF-SS Tennis Individuals will pay dividends for her going forward.
“We saw a kid who is very competitive, she’s very talented,” Nicolaides said. “I think she was a little intimidated at first, especially in her match against Ena, but she looks at it as a way to grow in her game too. Playing experienced players will only make her better.”
The Lady Heralds also sent the doubles team of Abby Burdick and Klarissa Flores to the CIF-SS Tennis Regionals and the duo made the most of the experience.
After falling in the first set of their first round matchup 1-6, Burdick and Flores stayed alive by winning a tiebreaker to take the second set 7-5.
In the third set, they were outdone 7-10 by Long Beach Poly’s Daniela Gochuico and Rylie Borje.
“They impressed me this season because they only started playing last year,” Nicolaides said. “They played some really good tennis today and fought until the end. I’m proud of them.”