Peninsula players take aim at CCS glory 

click to enlarge All in: Burlingame’s Brook Tsu will look to go deeper this year at CCS, facing Hillsdale’s Mariko Iinuma to start. - JOSEPH SCHELL/SPECIAL TO THE EXAMINER
  • joseph schell/special to the examiner
  • All in: Burlingame’s Brook Tsu will look to go deeper this year at CCS, facing Hillsdale’s Mariko Iinuma to start.

San Mateo County will have four singles players and three doubles teams participating in the Central Coast Section girls’ tennis tournament that starts Monday.

No. 6 Brooke Tsu from Burlingame makes her return to the CCS tournament after being bounced in the second round in her junior season.

“She’s strong and powerful,” Hillsdale coach Jackie Nachtigall said.

Tsu helped lead the Panthers to an undefeated Peninsula Athletic League Bay season and that experience will be crucial as she will face someone familiar with her.

Her first-round opponent is PAL Bay foe Mariko Iinuma from Hillsdale, who got in as an alternate.

Nachtigall thinks Iinuma has a shot to pull the upset in the first round.

“She’s played outstanding,” Nachtigall said. “She was nervous the first time.”

The freshman Iinuma is undefeated heading into her matchup with Tsu, who she has not faced, but can get some tips from her teammate Cindy Liu.

Liu faced Tsu twice during the regular season and lost in tiebreakers each time.

The eighth-seeded Liu will make her CCS debut when she faces Caroline Casper from St. Francis in the first round.

Both Liu and Iinuma have been practicing with their parents, Nachtigall said, and Linuma’s mother is confident heading into Monday.

Nachtigall is confident both Liu, a sophomore, and Iinuma will see plenty of future CCS action.

Menlo’s Giannina Ong was the runner-up in the CCS individual singles tournament last season as she fell to Saratoga’s Crystal Yen 6-2, 6-1.

Ong, a junior, swept her match in the West Bay Athletic League finals against Harker’s Jenny Chen, 6-0, 6-4 on Nov. 2.

Yen is the top seed in this year’s tournament.

The fourth-seeded Ong faces Jessie Lee from Evergreen Valley, who reached the CCS second round in 2010.

Aragon’s team of Kaeda Ishikawa and Victoria Sun won the PAL CCS qualifying tournament.

Ishikawa and Sun will take on Casey Watt and Melina Nobusada from Salinas.

Burlingame, which won the WBAL, is also sending its double team of Christine Elazo and Laura Gradiska.

The third-seeded pair will take on Sara Lum and Cori Posadas from Saratoga.

The first and second rounds will be played on Monday with the semifinals and finals to follow on Tuesday.

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Zack Farmer

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