Prep tennis: Ellis claims second straight section singles title

Clovis West High’s Janie Ellis extended her reign over Central Section girls tennis, winning a second straight individual singles title Saturday at the Bakersfield Country Club.

The top-seeded junior downed Buchanan’s sixth-seeded Lasya Gudipudi 6-0, 6-1 in the final of the 16-player tournament to cap a 29-0 season.

“There was a lot of pressure to win it again,” Ellis said. “I wanted to do it for myself and for my team, and I had an undefeated season I wanted to keep going.”

Ellis reached the final with a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Bakersfield Christian’s No. 5 Delaney Roche in the semifinals earlier Saturday.

On Friday, Ellis opened with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Woodlake’s No. 16 Katie Pfaff and downed No. 8 Liberty Roche 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

There was a lot of pressure to win it again. I wanted to do it for myself and for my team, and I had an undefeated season I wanted to keep going.

Clovis West’s Janie Ellis, who capped a 29-0 season with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Buchanan’s Lasya Gudipudi for the Central Section individual girls tennis singles title.

It was a dominating run for Ellis, who admitted she was shook up by top-seeded Clovis West’s 5-4 upset loss to No. 4 Buchanan in the semifinals of the section team playoffs Wednesday.

But Ellis said the presence of a couple of her teammates who made the trip to Bakersfield to support her, helped calm the nerves.

“I was really nervous this whole week,” Ellis said. “We had a tough loss in Valley and I wanted to go out and win it for my team.

“I owe it to my great coaches, amazing teammates and parents and everyone who helped me through this,” Ellis said. “I’m happy I could pull it out again. It was a really fun season.”

Gudipudi, who was a part of last season’s section individual doubles champion with Lauren Lee, made an unexpected run to the final, eliminating third-seeded Claire Yang of Redwood 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals Friday, then upsetting Frontier’s No. 2-seeded Madison Swaney 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the semis Saturday. Gudipudi is a junior.

Swaney went on to beat Delaney Rocha 6-3, 6-3 for third in singles.

In doubles, Garces’ top-seeded Anastasia Drulias and Alexsia Drulias topped Clovis West’s No. 2 Julia August and Katelyn Pevandi 6-2, 7-5 for the title.

August and Pevandi led 4-3 in the second set before the Drulias sisters pulled away.

August and Pevandi, who were 1-3 as a doubles team entering the postseason, beat Clovis North’s No. 6 Nandini Nair and Aliya Kusumo 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the semis, while the Drulias’ advanced by defeating No. 4 Kate Kelly and Margo Kuney of Bakersfield.

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