Hothi and Nykanen Take Tennis on a Magical Trip


On October 28th, the surprising underdog WRHS tennis doubles team of Ella Nykanen and Harvir Hothi made an incredible run to the Valley Oak League (VOL) Girls Tennis semifinals Tournament at Union Courts, Manteca.

The doubles tournament was a single-elimination format, and Nykanen and Hothi nearly lost in the first round. However, down 2-5 versus the Sierra tandem, they diligently fought back to win the match 9-7. In the second round, they faced an East Union team that was quickly dispatched 8-1.

Hothi and Nykanen then played a best of three sets in the third round, and the WRHS team fought off determined Oakdale players 6-3 and 7-5.

The last four teams in the semifinals were WRHS and three Central Catholic teams. A David versus Goliath storyline was forming, but the underdog team from WRHS lost in the fourth round 3-6 and 2-6. Eventually, Nykanen and Hothi lost 4-8 in the 3rd place match as they completed five exhausting, hard-fought games that day.

As a result of their top 4 finish, the VOL awarded the WRHS doubles team the ”All-League” designation patch. In addition, they are recognized as the WRHs Girls Tennis co-MVPs by the coaching staff.

The final results were a fantastic close to the season for the #1 and #2 singles players. Next year, Ella will return to Helsinki, Finland, to graduate from high school, and Harvir will enter her third tennis season as a junior.

Photos courtesy of Mr. Cerezo

Harvir Hothi makes a brilliant return
Ella Nykanen sends one back to Oakdale
Hothi and Nykanen congratulate the Central Catholic team