Oakmont girls tennis makes history

Team wins Foothill Valley League for first time in 26 years


Lane Bacchi

The Oakmont Girls Tennis team poses for a photo together.

Anirudh Mepperla and Remi Royer

For the first time since 1995, the Oakmont girls tennis team has won the league title, finishing with a 15-1 record.

Right from the start, the team, including team captain and senior Mierra Ong, had their eyes set on winning the league. 

“It was one of our goals at the beginning of the season, so we all pushed each other to play to our fullest potential and win each game, one game at a time,” Ong said. 

That they did, dropping only one match against league rival Placer High School over the course of the season. Although that meant the team could not go undefeated, junior Desiree Montano and the rest of the team were unbothered and continued to build and improve. 

“I think there was a lot of growth from the beginning of the year,” Montano said. “It’s very exciting seeing how we could have been undefeated, [but] I think it was also a really good learning experience that we lost that one game against Placer.”

However, the growth of the team has roots that run further back than the first practice of the season. For Coach Lane Bacchi and the team, the league victory was the culmination of years of hard work. 

“We’ve been developing our team since I became coach about three seasons ago, and we’ve had five seniors on the team this year,” Bacchi said. “[It’s a long time] in the making, building the experience and the maturity on and off the court.”

The marathon is not over yet. As a result of their successful season, the team is in the playoffs and are looking to make a real run – and this year, Bacchi and the team know something is different. 

“A lot of teams kind of, like, dip off, like, ‘oh, season is almost over,’ but we’re keeping the pedal on,” Bacchi said. “The girls just stay motivated, [and they know] that we can do well in playoffs compared to previous years.”

In particular, the captains, seniors Mierra Ong and Olivia Guzman, have been vital to keeping the team on track and hungry throughout the season. According to Coach Bacchi, it was them who set the goal of winning the league. 

“The captains Olivia and Mierra put it to the team like, ‘hey, this is our year to win league,’” Bacchi said. “They got the team to be motivated, which is pretty impressive because it’s hard to get captains to have that coach’s mindset.”

That isn’t to suggest that their work is over. When discussing preparations for the upcoming playoff games, Montano mentions that the captains have been leading the effort to get ready by scouting their opponents.

“Our team captains have been looking at other teams we might play so we’re prepared to see how the other teams are,” Montano said. “Knowing what the other teams are doing, we [can] practice on that.”

All of the seniors, not just the captains, have been very invested in the team, and have been important to the team’s success, something which both Bacchi and Montano agreed on. 

“They’re very competitive, and they encourage the whole team to try harder,” Montano said. “The fact that we got the banner this year, I know that they’re all very happy and excited about that.”

Although the victory is bittersweet for the seniors, now in their final weeks playing for a program they worked hard to build, the future of Oakmont girls tennis is bright, and Coach Bacchi is proud of what they have accomplished.

“It’s a great way to finish off their high school careers [by] making history,” Bacchi said. “I think it’s great for the school to kind of be back on the map in terms of tennis in the area.”