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Kanda leads CV past Downey
Jyoti Kanda didn't compete in a single contest for Central Valley High School's varsity girls tennis team in 2007.

"I was an extra player last season," she said. "I watched most of their home matches. This year, I'm trying to learn more and get better."

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, the junior helped lead the Hawks to an 8-7 victory over visiting Downey in non-league action.

Kanda won two of her three singles matches, beating Courtney Nelson 6-4, Natalie Lambert 6-1 and Jordan Flora 6-4.

"I wasn't even expecting to win," Jyoti said. "I just wanted to have fun."

Jessica Gutierrez defeated Lambert (6-0) and Nelson (6-1). She lost to Flora (6-1). Her triumph over Nelson gave the Hawks an insurmountable 8-5 lead as just two individual matches were left to play.

April Hernandez topped Lambert (6-4). She lost to Flora (6-1) and Nelson (6-2).

Jessica Rodriguez and Anna Polovin teamed up to beat Supreet Kaur and Kara Young 8-6, and Breanna Howey and Mira Crimmel 8-5 in doubles play.

First-year players Rocio Espinoza and Katie Avila lost to Howey and Crimmel, and Kaur and Young by identical scores (8-0).

For the second straight year, Central Valley got the best of Downey.

"I'm happy for them," said Veronica Giddens, first-year head coach of the Hawks. "It's a good way to start the season."

Added Rodriguez: "Overall, I think we did pretty well. But it's just a warm-up for league."