It took some titanic play from Frontier girls tennis players Madison Swaney and Angela Ragus, but the two freshmen came through in a big way.
The two helped the Titans secure a 5-4 victory at home on Wednesday over Fresno-Central in the CIF Central Section Division II championship.
The division title was the first in the history of the girls tennis team at Frontier, which entered the playoff bracket as a No. 4 seed.
"We really had no idea how we were going to do this year and it's just a pleasant surprise," said Frontier coach Elton Evans. "I am so proud of them. They have worked so hard this year."
Highlighted by Swaney's 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kristen Clore in the No. 1 singles match and Ragus' 7-6, 6-0 win over Makena Rodriguez in the No. 4 spot, Frontier took a 4-2 advanage going in to doubles play.
The Titans only had to win one doubles contest to win it all, whereas the Grizzlies needed a doubles sweep. All three doubles matches were close, causing coaches and spectators to watch nervously around the caged courts.
Central's Halee Fuhrer and Darien Perez defeated the Titans' Kendall Billings and Kristi Park, 6-1, 6-5, in the No. 3 doubles showdown, which was the first to end and cut Frontier's lead to 4-3.
The pressure was on Swaney and Ragus in the No. 2 doubles contest against Central's Rodriguez and Ali Nomellini. In an epic battle filled with long volleys and amazing recoveries, a tiebreaker was needed to determine the winners. Once again, the Frontier freshmen came up with a huge win, 6-3, 2-6 (10-6) to officially seal Frontier's first section title.
"Getting these two freshmen who are just fantastic this year, having them
already play a high caliber of tennis, and knowing that I have them for another three years, is just such a pleasant surprise," Evans said. "They won the No. 2 (doubles matches) through the whole thing -- they clinched Sanger, they clinched this. They are just two super freshmen."
Frontier and Central each pulled off upsets to get to the championship match. The No. 4 Titans knocked off defending section champion, top-seeded Sanger, 5-4 in the semifinals after beating No. 5 Fresno-Edison, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Seventh-seeded Central upset No. 2 Monache (5-4) and No. 6 Golden West (6-3) to reach Wednesday's finale.
The Titans also got wins from Amy White, who defeated Nomellini 6-1, 6-2, and Kaylie Defress, who bested Audrey Bolstad 6-0, 6-3, in singles play.
White and Defress fell in doubles to Clore and Bolstad, 4-6, 6-7 (7-4).