Lasya Gudipudi and Stephanie Foanene defeated Katelyn Pevandi and Lauren Hudec 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles to lift fourth-seeded Buchanan High to a 5-4 upset of No. 1 Clovis West on Wednesday and earn a fifth straight trip to the Central Section Division I girls tennis final.
The two-time defending champion Bears (17-5) will play at second-seeded Clovis North on Tuesday for the title. The Broncos advanced with a 6-3 victory over No. 3 Garces.
“We thought we could give them a battle,” Buchanan coach Jonathan Slater said. “It’s been a hard year. We lost our league matches for the first time in a long time. But we knew we were a good team and the girls never gave up or quit. They never thought they couldn’t win, and that’s half the battle.”
Buchanan dropped two previous matches to Clovis West, both by 6-3 scores, this season. In the first, played Sept. 15, the Golden Eagles led 6-0 after singles. Clovis West, which hadn’t lost to section opposition this season, led 5-1 through singles in the second on Oct. 4.
But the Bears split in singles this time, getting a 7-6, 6-3 win from Grace Moore over Julia August at No. 2, a 7-6, 6-4 triumph from Katie Jackson over Lynn Nguyen at No. 4 and a 6-4, 6-2 decision from Mikayla Marini over Ecy King at No. 6.
Jackson had never defeated Nguyen previously over the past three seasons.
“Katie played probably her best match of her career,” Slater said. “We knew if we could get to doubles at 3-all, we had a good shot.”
In doubles, Clovis West’s Janie Ellis and Brianne Bustamante scored the first point, beating Kelly Yang and Jackson 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 before Buchanan tied it as Madddy Fraser and Amber Simonson downed August and Sydney Aldrich 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3, followed by the clincher from Gudipudi and Foanene.
“We felt really confident at first doubles and knew it would be a battle at No. 2,” Slater said. “So we knew it would come down to three, and they played very well. They were able to come through for us.”
Clovis West, which hadn’t lost to a section opponent this season, received singles wins from Ellis, Pevandi and Hudec.
▪ Division II: Top-seeded Bakersfield Christian downed No. 4 Redwood 7-2, and No. 2 Bakersfield topped No. 3 Sanger 7-2 to set up an Eagles-Drillers final on Tuesday.
▪ Division III: No. 1 Lemoore beat No. 4 West 7-3 while No. 6 Immanuel edged No. 7 North 6-3 as the Tigers and Eagles advanced to Tuesday’s final.
▪ Division IV: No. 3 Corcoran captured the division title with a 6-3 defeat of No. 5 Wasco.
▪ Division V: No. 1 Firebaugh defeated No. 4 Sierra Pacific 7-2, and No. 2 Central Valley Christian swept No. 5 Wasco 9-0 as the Eagles and Cavaliers moved on to Tuesday’s final.