The Lincoln High girls tennis team is bucking a very common trend. On a team chock-full of seniors, it is a pair of sophomores that have been the key to an impressive season on the court. Led once again by the duo of Lilly Le and Miriam Cabrera, the Abes topped Wilson 3-2 in their final league contest of the season on April 24 at Stewart Heights Park.
Le, with an impressive display of returns, made quick work of Wilson’s Karissa Longver, winning 6-0, 6-0 in number-one singles. Cabrera, meanwhile, followed shortly thereafter by dispatching the Rams’ Alecia Pak 6-0, 6-0 in number-two singles.
“Between them they’ve only lost one match all year long,” said Lincoln head coach Minh Nguyen. “It’s been great, and I’ve got a lot to look forward to. I’m really excited about the possibilities in the future, but even more so this year. They’ve been great leaders on the team, they’ve been doing their part and everybody looks up to them.”
With the league tournament starting up on May 2 at the University of Puget Sound, Le will look to improve upon her rookie campaign in which she emerged as the third seed to the district tournament last spring.
“Being a sophomore and making it to districts (last year) feels really good,” Le said. “I don’t think I would have made it without my coaches, so I really appreciate them putting their hard work in it…my goal is to make it to state this year and step it up from last year.”
Cabrera, meanwhile, will look to use her imposing serve to advance in the postseason this year after qualifying as an alternate to districts last year.
“A lefty’s serve always has a little extra spin, a little extra funk on it,” Nguyen said. “She definitely has that. She has definitely made that a weapon.”
Abes seniors London Hughes and Arijana Zekiri notched the other match win, a 6-3, 6-3 doubles win over the Rams’ May Luu and Young Cho to secure the team victory.
Wilson, meanwhile, got strong play from their number-one doubles team of Alexa Blackman and Brenda Luu. The duo rattled off wins in four straight games in the first set to win 6-3, and took the second set by the same score over the Abes’ Julie Nguyen and Ferdeza Zekiri. Wilson’s Jordan Badilla and Delany Dawson later scored another doubles victory, topping Lincoln’s Deyanna Willis and Diana Zuniga 6-4, 6-4.
Despite most of the roster graduating after this spring, the Abes certainly will be formidable not only in this postseason, but in the years to come with Le and Cabrera at the helm. Nguyen even noted that he may have the duo team up in doubles this postseason to have a stronger chance at making a run to state.
“It makes for a dangerous combination,” Nguyen said. “We’re looking forward to some big things from them.”