Marshall’s Johannah Galindo makes it three City Section tennis titles in a row
Johannah Galindo faced a familiar opponent Tuesday afternoon at Birmingham High School in the finals of the City Section individual tennis tournament, her sister Julianna.
For the third year in a row, Johannah beat out her younger sibling to claim the singles title, a nice parting gift before graduating one semester early from Marshall High School to play for the University of Hawaii, the school with whom she signed a full tour. athletic scholarship last week.
“It doesn’t matter who I play [in the finals] but I feel bad for Julianna, who won’t have a chance to win until I graduate,” Johannah said after sweeping her 7-5, 6-2. “Or, i he would win three in a row.”
Ranked as high as No. 11 in California and No. 75 nationally in the USTA Juniors, Johannah was introduced to the sport by her father at age 5 and began playing tournaments when she was 8. Marshall did not have a girls team her freshman year, so she played No. 1 on the boys squad and went undefeated.
Johannah has an excellent record in the City tournament three years in a row, having defeated Julianna in the finals 6-4, 6-4 in 2021 and 6-3, 6-3 in the fall finally. Now 17, she took the opportunity to visit the Hawaii campus while playing a tournament in Honolulu in October, and after speaking with the coach she decided to commit.
Julianna, 16, benefited from her sister’s advice to overcome Granada Hills’ No. 1 player Saruyi Parandian in three tight sets in the semi-finals and hopes the fourth time is the charm in 2024.
“I’ve had enough of second place so, yes, it’s a big opportunity next year,” Julianna said. “It’s a great experience to play Johannah . She has a different game than me, she’s more aggressive, but I’ve improved a lot by playing her. She always supports me.”
When asked if she would consider following her sister to Hawaii when her own high school career is over, Julianna wouldn’t elaborate: “It’s definitely an option to play with her.” there.”
While the Galindos traded bases for the singles crown, Granada Hills juniors Georgia Brown and Priscilla Grinner were capping off another undefeated season, capturing their second straight doubles title with a 6-0 victory, 6-2 on Sashi Gancheva Palisades. and Ann Kelly.
Brown and Grinner started playing together as ninth graders and their only loss since becoming a duo was to senior teammates Anisa Londhe and Mikayla Kane in the 2021 City tournament. three sets to lead the Highlanders past Palisades in the team final three weeks ago and did not drop a set en route to the doubles title. Brown ended Tuesday’s match with a volley winner after Grinner’s cross-court return.
Griner has been playing tennis since she was 4, Brown since she was 8. Brown played the deuce court in the finals, Grinner the advertising side. The two hang out on the court, too – building Legos, going to Six Flags Magic Mountain or fueling up at their favorite restaurant.
“We both play singles outside of school, but I love playing with Georgia,” Griner said. “We know when to pick each other up and we know not to let down each other.”
“We’re patient with each other and we’re going to be positive,” Brown said. “We try to be aggressive but smart at the same time. We usually find the weaknesses of our opponents and if they make changes, we change things. “
They would love nothing more than to make it three in a row next year.
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This story first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.