After a memorable tennis season, the Silverado players are thankful for each other and the coaches
Thanksgiving is always a great opportunity to look back on the year, count blessings and reflect on what you are thankful for.
Five members of the Silverado girls tennis team thought long and hard about what they are thankful for this year as they prepare for the CIF-Southern Section individual sectionals.
Silverado senior singles player Mailin Müller has plenty to be thankful for after spending this semester away from her family.
Müller is a 16-year-old foreign exchange student from Braunschweig, Germany, attending Silverado for the first semester of her senior year.
Müller returns home after Christmas, getting to experience Thanksgiving for the first time in her life.
She seems excited about that.
“I’m so grateful to my parents, making it possible to come out here and meet a great new family,” Müller said. “I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet some really nice people and make many new friends.”
Many of these new friendships are among the Silverado tennis team.
Müller, who started playing tennis 10 years ago, went all over the team. She emailed Silverado coach Bill Mocharnuk and asked him to hit some balls with the team.
The rest is history.
“I told her to come out the Monday after,” Mocharnuk said. “I hit her three balls and I went, ‘Oh my God.’ This girl knows how to play.’ High, deep, double-sided splicing. I checked her service. Spin serving, horizontal serving. She is the real deal. She is so nice, so sweet, but she is a killer on the court. “
Back in Braunschweig, Müller plays for a club team, consisting of four girls. All girls in the team play singles and doubles.
With all the experience she has over the past ten years, Müller has found that she likes playing singles more than doubles.
“Doubles is fun, but I’m better at singles,” Müller said. “I just think I’m better when I’m on the court alone. I can focus better knowing that I have everything under control. “
Müller did not lose a game in the regular season as she went 31-0, leading the Hawks to the league title.
At the DSL finals, Müller defeated Alyssa Mejia of the Academy of Academic Excellence by scores of 6-3 and 6-2 in the championship match.
“It’s an automatic three points in Mailin. “I knew going into the lineup this season that I was already up 3-0 in any game,” Mocharnuk said.
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Müller’s winning ways continued as she dominated Silverado’s run to the CIF-Southern Division 6 semifinals.
In the first round on November 1, Müller swept with three bagels as the Hawks beat Montclair 12-6. She followed that up with another sweep (6-1, 6-0, 6-2) in a 14-4 win over Twentynine Palms.
It was the first time she missed a game last season.
“I feel that those games I lost brought me forward more than the games I won,” said Müller.
In a 13-5 win over Estancia in the quarterfinals, Müller swept with scores of 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.
Silverado’s run ended in the semifinals, a 10-8 loss to Woodcrest Christian. Müller swept by two wickets (6-4, 6-0, 6-0) in that season-ending loss on November 6.
But that did not mean the end of the season for Müller and a pair of doubles teammates.
The CIF-Southern Division individual divisions kicked off on Nov. 20 at five different host sites.
The round of 32 and 16 is on November 29 and will be held at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont. The semi-finals and finals will also be held there on November 30.
The Mojave River League is represented in singles action by Hesperia’s two-time Mojave River League first singles champion Jasmine Sheets and Apple Valley’s Simran Ahluwalia. In doubles action, the MRL is represented by Apple Valley’s Samantha Most and Vishwa Patel, as well as Oak Hills’ Hayley Lazo and Valerie Torres.
So what makes a great doubles team?
You have to get ahead, first and foremost.
If there is no cooperation between partners, there is likely to be trouble, the two Silverado double teams agreed.
With a strong relationship, comes communication, Barajas said.
She and Valadez always make sure to talk to each other on the court. There is also one other aspect that has worked for them.
“You can’t be selfish on the court,” Valadez said. “You always have to be focused, make sure you have fun but stay focused.”
Then comes the playing styles.
A hard doubles team has a set and spikes.
Barajas is the hammer, and Valadez is the sitter. Notes establish McGowan’s aggressive approach.
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“You have to be able to work together and know your role on the court,” McGowan said. “You have to make sure you work together as one.
To reach the sectionals, Barajas and Valadez had to beat McGowan and Notes at the Desert Sky League finals.
It wasn’t easy.
Notes and McGowan won the first set 4-6, and then Barajas and Valadez won the next two with scores of 6-2 and 10-8.
“That was fun to watch,” Mocharnuk said. “These are two of the biggest doubles teams I’ve ever had in my time here. They are so competitive. These are girls who don’t like to lose. Something else is the will to win and the desire to get better. “
Müller’s time with the team will be an experience she will cherish for a lifetime, including the friendships made along the way.
Reflecting on the team spirit, it’s something she will miss back home, where things are a little more serious.
“My team back home is quieter and more concentrated,” Müller said. “Here, everyone is always cheering and having so much fun. I like the change. The best part about this team is that everyone is very close, very supportive, and not too mean. I’m grateful to have had fun playing tennis here.”
As they prepared for the individual sections, a week before Thanksgiving, Barajas and Valadez shared, as did McGowan and Notes, what they were thankful for as they reflected on a memorable season.
Here’s what each had to say.
Barajas – “I’m thankful for my coaches, I wouldn’t be here without them. Also, my parents, because also without them, I wouldn’t be here. My coaches have shown me a lot this year, and I’ve made great strides over the years in working toward our No. 1 position. I am thankful for my team. If it wasn’t for them, there would be no motivation.”
Valadez – “Our coaches have taught me how to play. I am grateful for that. I am grateful to my friends and all my team for how hard they worked all season. We made sure we did our job and did our best to represent Silverado tennis.”
McGowan – “I’m grateful for the opportunities tennis has given me so far, and the opportunities I will get because of tennis.”
Notes – “This season has been my best, and I’m thankful for my coaches and teammates. “
Daily Press reporter Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-951-6274 or JQuintero@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, at @J0seQuintero, and on Instagram at @VVDailyPress_Sports.
This article first appeared on the Victorville Daily Press: After a fun and memorable tennis season, Silverado players are grateful