Sara Benavidez, of Watsonville High School, won the 2013 Monterey Bay League Singles Championship over Alyssa Loftus, of Salinas, in a 6-2, 6-1 match at Salinas High School Wednesday afternoon.
The senior was able to outlast Loftus with her consistency, and conditioning for the finals win.
“It feels awesome,” Benavidez said. “I felt nervous, but I used that energy. It’s all good now. I can finally breathe.”
Even though Loftus was able to snag a few games from the Benavidez, the no. 1 overall seed in the tournament, she never made enough if a push to rattle the eventual champion.
"I felt pretty good," Benavidez said. "There was times when she trying to attack, but kept trying to get the ball back in."
After receiving the 1 seed, the senior had to go through four matches alone to make it to the finals.
Her biggest challenge came against Christopher's Emily Barham in the semifinals Tuesday at Chamisal Tennis and Fitness Club.
The hard serving Barham pushed and moved Benavidez all match long, but like she had all season, Benavidez prevailed with her consistency.
"I just try to keep my calm," Benavidez said. "Positive thinking. I wanted to keep pushing myself."
Benavidez had beaten Loftus 6-1, 6-0 during regular season league play. She lost just one league match this season, a 1-6, 6-0, 7-10 loss to Alisal's Aileen Bermudez to start the year.
Benavidez had participated in the MBL tournament all three years with Watsonville, but was unable to make it past the quarter finals round.
Obviously, this year was different.
"It was exciting," Benavidez said, "I was a great opportunity to make it to the finals after coming here four times."
Even if she hadn't win the final she would still be going to the Central Coast Section Playoffs.
Her and Loftus will make the trip to Courtside Club in Los Gatos on Nov. 25 to compete against the best in the section.
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