Although Eureka had to withdraw from the tournament, the Invitational still featured nine of the top girls tennis teams in the Bay Area: Freedom, Heritage, Liberty, Pittsburg,
Amador Valley, American, Tracy, Salesian and Hayward.
American High School's Robin Zhou won the singles championship, defeating Tracy's Corrin Geibig, 6-1, 6-2 in the finals. Amador Valley's Katie McCormick and Eliza Lamson won the doubles competition.
"It was the most successful tournament that we've had, boys or girls, in the last eight years," said Freedom athletic director and head tennis coach Steve Amaro. "It was the first time in Freedom history that we had six doubles teams, and none of them were eliminated before championship day. Sarah Osborn and Emma Fister made the finals. They lost in the finals, but it was an incredible match."
Freedom singles player Amy Sidrian overcame severe exhaustion and vomiting during her semifinal match, and won the next set to earn an appearance in the tournament's fifth-place match against Zhou. But having expended every bit of reserve energy, Sidrian was simply out of gas and lost to the American High School singles champ.
"They showed a tremendous amount of heart," said Amaro of his team's play. "The hustle and the intensity that they showed throughout the tournament bodes really well for the future and for league."
Heritage's Victoria Seyoum, the team's No. 1 singles player, impressed Amaro by making it all the way to the sixth-place match before being eliminated.
Heritage head coach Annie Ward was also impressed. She believes that the benefits of such a competitive tournament early in the season will be apparent as the season wears on and mental toughness becomes an increased factor in her team's success.
"I'm pretty happy with our doubles and our singles. In tournament play, you never know what's going to happen because you're coming up against mental strength from a lot of teams. So I walked them through the process - going over strategy and preparing them for the challenge," said Ward.
"This is the caliber of tennis that we want to play, what we've been preparing for. A tournament like this can give your team a whole other perspective and that's what I wanted to get out of this tournament."