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Hillmen serve up wins at Riverbank

By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer High Tennis Team had several aces up its sleeve in last weekend’s doubles tournament at Riverbank High School, claiming first place overall in both the “A” and “B” flights. Individual girls teams that finished first in the “A” flight included senior Ilaria Piredda and sophomore Kirstin Schauble, who played in the No. 1 spot and freshmen Claire McInnery and sophomore Lindsey Holden who played No. 2. Both Paderia and Schauble are transitioning from their winter sports sports at Placer into tennis. Paderia, an exchange student from Italy, traded her skis for a racket, while Schauble is trading the basketball court for the tennis court. “It was a fun tournament this year,” Schauble said. “It was really awesome to play with (Paderia). She is a really good tennis player and that really motivates me.” In the mixed doubles category senior Aaron Lee and junior Amy Claussen found their sweet spot, winning all four of their matches in the round robin style tournament, including tough matches against teams from Argonaut and Escalon. Placer coach Ben Isaac said this tournament was redemptive for Lee, who lost every match in last year’s tournament by a large margin. “He has earned every bit of it,” Isaac said. “I am sure it was very satisfting.” Since freshmen year, Isaac said he has seen Lee’s determination and hard work take him from the bottom of the team to the top. “It felt good coming a long ways from the bottom my freshmen year,” Lee said. “It was because of all my hard work and help from coach.” Lee also credits his dynamic partnership with Claussen for their win. “It helps to be friends for a little while. I have known her for two years,” Lee said. “We have the same kind of play. It’s almost aggressive.” Isaac said the surpise of the tournament was that both the No. 1 and No. 2 boys doubles teams took second rather than first. “It was the shot heard ‘round the world when I got the call that they didn’t win,” Isaac said. “Both got upset by other schools. One was Colfax, but it’s early in the season.” If history is any predictor of how they will continue to do this season, things look good for the Hillmen. They have been the reigning league champions for 22 years in a row, proving tradition is on their side. Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.