Malibu sports roundup: Girls tennis rolls

What a week it was for Malibu athletics. The Malibu girls tennis team swept the Tri-Valley League individual tennis championships with senior Britta Mosser leading the way as she won a third consecutive singles title. The boys water polo team rallied to capture a must-win game at Oaks Christian, and cross-country star Caroline Pietryzk finished first in a race at the prestigious Mount San Antonio Invitational.

With the post-season playoffs just around the corner, several of Malibu’s fall sports are peaking at the right time.

After completing an incredible 15-0 undefeated regular season, the girls tennis team turned its focus to the Tri-Valley League singles and doubles tennis championships last week at Oak Park High School. The Sharks were up to the challenge, dispatching anyone in their path.

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Mosser completed her personal trifecta by winning a third singles title in as many years. She rolled 6-0, 6-0 against Nikki Crystal of La Reina in the quarterfinals, followed by Danielle Binnette of Oaks Christian in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-0. Then it was on to the finals to play a good friend and teammate.

Malibu’s Lauren Louks was seeded number two in singles play and she proceeded to defeat Sarah Walsh of Oak Park 6-1, 6-0, and Michaella Rosales of Saint Bonaventure 6-1, 6-4 to set up an All-Malibu final.

Mosser proved to be the queen of the courts yet again by defeating Louks 6-3, 6-3.

“It was tough because we are teammates. But we both thought of it as another day of practice,” Mosser said. “It was nice to play her and I’m glad I got to play her in my last year.”

Winning any kind of individual or team title is quite a feat. Being a champion three consecutive times is a special achievement in its own class.

“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Mosser said humbly. “I’m happy with that. I’m really excited I won.”

Louks will get another chance next year when she returns as a senior.

“I played well but Britta played really well in this match,” Louks said. “She deserves it.”

As Mosser and Louks dominated their opposition in singles play, Raven Odian and Rachel Purewal, Malibu’s top doubles team, played outstanding en route to the doubles championship.

They defeated Casady Stroh and Carly Butters of La Reina in the semifinals 6-2, 6-3 and Gabby Stevens and Lauren Ashton of Oaks Christian in the finals 6-0, 6-2.

“We’ve been working really hard and we feel that we accomplished our goals. It feels really great,” Odian said. “I’m very happy. It was well earned,” Purewal added. “We put a lot of work into to it, so I’m happy with the outcome.”

The CIF-SS team playoffs begin on Oct. 30. The Sharks are expected to receive the number one seed and will look to win their first CIF title since 2004. After losing last season in the semifinals, a run for the ring is Malibu’s ultimate goal.

“That’s been our focus all year. We are really excited and I’m looking forward to the playoffs,” Malibu Coach Doug Olen said. “We’ve been working hard and it’s showing right now. The girls represented Malibu High very well. It was great to have both the singles and doubles win the league.”

Boys water polo gets revenge

Three weeks ago the boys suffered a heartbreaking loss at home to Oaks Christian, 8-7. This time the tables were turned on the Lions. Down 6-2 at halftime, the Sharks responded with a fierce comeback to win in sudden-death overtime, 10-9. The victory pulled Malibu (19-4, 7-1) into a tie for first place with Oaks Christian with two games remaining.

Jordan Clarke’s game-winning score was his fourth goal of the game and the biggest goal of his four-year career.

“I found my shot. It was definitely my best moment in water polo ever,” Clarke explained. “We knew we had to win at their pool to have a chance at winning league and we did. When I scored, I started freaking out. Everybody was hugging me afterward.”

“It was an awesome drive home. I’ve never seen them that excited before,” Malibu Coach Michael Mulligan said. “Our boys never gave up. It was a complete team effort. They believed in each other and had a neversay-die-attitude. The win was pure satisfaction.”

Cross country runners shine 

Ranked as the seventh-fastest runner in California in Division IV, she won the girls sophomore Division IV and V combined race at Mt. SAC with an impressive time of 19:33 on the challenging course. Sophomore Carmen Flood finished 15th, with a time of 22:42, earning a medal for her efforts. Freshman Charlotte Jackson medaled in the girls freshman Division IV and V race finishing fourth out of 168 runners with a time of 21:12.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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