Defending CCC tennis champ upset

Leon beats Sofranek

10/19/2012 12:02 AM

10/19/2012 1:07 AM

Britney Leon needed to refocus.

The Pitman senior was visibly frustrated during the second set as shots she usually hits sailed long or wide.

Leon used the break between the second and third set to calm down.

"The break gave me a chance to slow down," Leon said. "I was kind of huffing and puffing at the end (of the second set). I had to take some deep breaths and play my game. I had to stay patient."

Leon was able to find her game in time as she denied Merced's Charlotte Sofranek's bid for a second straight Central California Conference singles title with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 victory in the finals of the CCC Tournament on Thursday morning at Merced High.

The two seniors have played each other often in the last three years. They split their two matches earlier this season.

Sofranek came into the tournament the No. 4 seed and earned her way to the finals by upsetting the top seed from Turlock, Natalia Lima, in the semifinals on Tuesday.

Sofranek started slow on Thursday, falling behind 5-0 in the first game.

"I think a lot of it at the beginning was nerves and that didn't set me up well for the rest of the match," Sofranek said. "Britney played really well."

Sofranek came back to win three games in the first set and that momentum carried over to the second game.

"We took turns getting frustrated," Sofranek said. "It's a such a mental game. If you're frustrated, you don't play as well."

Sofranek won the second set and won the first game of the third set. However, it was all Leon after that as she closed the match by winning six straight games.

"That third set was kind of a blur," Sofranek said. "She came out and did what she had to do. I got the first game and that's always encouraging for me, but she tied it right back up.

"I didn't get a chance to get the momentum back. She attacked. I tried to go to my consistency game, but it wasn't working today. I hit a lot of shots out. I don't know if I just tensed up because there was so much pressure trying to come from behind."

Golden Valley's Hushe Lee and Lindsay Robson defeated Lima and Turlock teammate Jillian Temple 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 to win the doubles championship.

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