Garden Grove has one of the county's two undefeated girls' tennis teams, but most people don't know much about the Argonauts. Unlike Villa Park--the county's other undefeated team--Garden Grove doesn't have any players rated in the Southern California junior tennis rankings. The team is not ranked among the top 10 teams in Orange County or in the Southern Section Division IV.
After winning only three matches in 1993 and again in 1994, Coach William Lou is understandably proud. The Argonauts' No. 1 singles player, senior Theresa Do, is undefeated in league, and the No. 1 doubles team of juniors Tam Dang and Quynh Nguyen are 51-0. The Argonauts have gone 17-0 this season, 10-0 in the Garden Grove League.
"Last year taught us a lot," Lou said. "The kids are just now believing in the program. The six seniors have got together and we've tried to make it a winning experience."
Because his players aren't able to afford individual lessons, Lou began working with his team in August.
"I've pushed them a lot," he said. "We had two-a-days in August just like the football players--running in the morning and working out in the afternoon."
Two years ago, Lou said he had a hard time persuading anyone to work out or try out. He had only 19 players in the program that first year. This was the first year Lou has had to cut anyone.
"This year has been one of those experiences you look forward to as a coach," said Lou, who teaches a sixth-period tennis class for players on the team. "A lot of it has come from setting those expectations and giving them an opportunity to succeed."
Lou said his players' expectations have changed drastically over the years.
"They want to go undefeated each match," Lou said. "It's incredible the amount of maturing they've gone through. Last year, if they [won] one out of three [sets] they'd be happy. Now they want three of three."
Last week, Garden Grove wrapped up only its third league title.
"People say we're on a roll," he said. "I tell them it hasn't been easy. It's a long process."
Foothill and Villa Park, which have had a hammerlock on the Century League in water polo for the last 10 years, play Wednesday for the usual spoils, the league championship.
This time, however, the winner also will probably be seeded No. 1 in the Southern Section Division I playoffs, which begin next week.
Foothill (21-1) is top-ranked in the division and Orange County. Villa Park (22-3) is No. 4 in the division and No. 3 in the county.
The game, scheduled to start at about 4 p.m. at Villa Park, has been so highly anticipated that the other league teams rescheduled their games to play today. "They wanted to see the showdown, too," said Villa Park assistant John Kulisich said.
The Golden West League girls' cross-country finals will be rerun at 3 p.m. Thursday at Central Park in Huntington Beach. The race was run Saturday, but the top 11 girls went off course after about one mile--the course was apparently poorly marked--and ran about 1,000 yards short of three miles.
Don Turnbull and staff writer Martin Beck contributed to this story.