Wednesday, March 26, 2008

NHS boys’ tennis holds strong

At 8-1, Nordhoff boys’ tennis team boosted by Slifkin brothers, Thorpe, veterans Ceiders, De Cordova

By Mike Miller

Nordhoff tennis coach Todd Dickey agrees with the saying, “Two is better than one,” especially when it comes to the Slifkin brothers. Adam and Josh Slifkin have led the Rangers to an overall record of 8-1 and 7-1 in Tri-Valley League play. Adam has been perfect on the season, going 24-0 in singles’ play and 3-0 in doubles. Josh is also undefeated on the season, with an 8-0 singles record and is 3-0 in doubles as well. Dickey said, “Adam has been solid all year and very consistent and Josh is very mature and he brings great leadership to our program.”
The Slifkin brothers are not the only show in town for the Rangers. Junior Chris Thorpe leads the team with 25 wins, with only one defeat. According to Dickey, Thorpe is a big hitter that uses a huge serve and powerful forehands to intimidate his opponents. In doubles, NHS has seen great play from the combination of junior Sam Ceiders and senior Mike Finley. Ceiders and Finley have gone 12-4 on the season. Dickey said, “They are both (Ceiders and Finley) veterans of our program and they have become very strong leaders.” Dickey also mentioned the doubles’ play of freshman Jacob De Cordova. He said, “Jacob has really been a pillar of confidence in doubles and he has a great team attitude.”
The NHS tennis program recently got a morale boost when new courts were installed a couple of months ago. “I have to say thank you to the school district, The Weil Tennis Academy and to ‘The Ojai’ for their support. The community came together to rebuild the courts and it has made a huge difference for our program,” added Dickey.
The Rangers have some huge matches coming up. They will travel across town tomorrow to take on Thacher at 3:45 p.m. Thacher is currently the second-ranked team in Division V. On April 2, the Rangers will host the top-ranked Division V team in Cate at 3 p.m. and then Oaks Christian will come to town the following day to play in a match that is likely to decide the Tri-Valley League title. Check the OVN for results of these matches as the Rangers look to become league champions.

NHS softball takes down Lions, 4-3

By Mike Miller

Nordhoff softball coach Don Rodarte will be sporting a new look this week. After beating the Oaks Christian Lions, 4-3, Rodarte made good on a promise to his team to shave his head. The thrilling 4-3 win over their rivals improved the team’s record to 3-6 overall and 1-2 in Tri-Valley League play.
The loss at the hands of the Lady Rangers is the first-ever Tri-Valley League defeat for Oaks Christian, according to Rodarte. He said, “After the game I told my girls that showing maturity to win games comes through game experience, whether that experience is good or bad. The important thing is to remember those experiences and learn from them.”
The game was a thriller that came down to the very last out before a winner was decided. Samantha Perez got the Rangers going with a shot to right field that got over the head of the Lions’ outfielder for a two-run home run, giving NHS the 2-1 lead. Oaks Christian battled back to take the lead in the fifth, but then McKenna Myers broke out of an early season slump with a hit that could not have come at a better time for the Rangers. Myers belted a shot to center field for an RBI double, scoring Hanna Riley. Riley, who had taken a line drive off her knee to start the game, earned the respect of her coach. He said, “It was loud and painful, however, she kept her composure and picked up the ball and threw out the batter. Hanna sucked it up and played tough the rest of the game.”
The Lady Rangers would take the lead for good when Ashley Pulido hit a solo home run. Pulido also pitched for the Rangers and kept the game close down the stretch. The drama was thick in the seventh and final inning, when an overthrow back to Pulido was picked up by Myers, who threw out the Oaks Christian runner at home. Rodarte recounted the play, “The runner took advantage of the situation and ran home, but the heads-up play and hustle of Myers and Pulido got her out on a close play.”
Kelsey Endo sealed the win by ending the drama and making the final out of the game for the Lady Rangers. The Rangers will return to action on March 29 when they face Channel Islands at 11 a.m. They will play Oaks Christian again on April 17 at Oaks Christian.