Youth tennis players prepare for championships


Nine Canyon Lake tennis players ages eight to 10 have served, volleyed and stroked their way to a sectional championship in the United States Tennis Association’s Junior Team Tennis Program this fall. Playing in the Riverside/San Bernardino program in six matches against their opponents, they dominated the game totals winning 27 sets and 261 games. Their closest competitor, Murrieta Tennis Club, won only 17 sets and 194 games. The players, Paige Williams, Dorian Maslach, Ian Cardoza, Erik Linton, Brooke Easterly, Evan Pinard, Ian Dodge, Cade Douglas and Aiden Kielty, will be tested this weekend as they travel to Palm Springs to compete on a much larger stage as they go up against three other section championship teams in Southern California.

While Don Roberson and Mariano Gallo coach them on Wednesdays, many have a long history of tennis lessons with Baba Sousa and have the great support of their family members, parents and grandparents, all of which figures into early skill development.

“We have an exceptional group of kids and parents,” said coach Roberson. “The players faithfully come to practices every Wednesday as well as arranging and playing inter-squad weekly ladder matches in a round robin format as their preparation for competition.”

The Canyon Lake 14u tennis team coached by Bobby Kielty had an undefeated season. Team members Haley Kielty, Kaylin Kielty, Ty Albright, Chloe Albright, Caiden Rouse, Gracie Sell, and Amen Temesgen played in a competitive league that included the cities of Riverside, Corona, Murrieta, Temecula and Redlands. The team is scheduled to travel to Indian Wells this weekend for sectionals. They will compete against other winners of the surrounding counties in Southern California. They will advance to nationals if they win.