Delaney Roche leads BCHS to the brink of 12th straight section title; earns AOTW honors

Posted at 8:59 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 23:59:22-04
A look inside one of Frank Thiessen's practices and his reign of tennis dominance starts to make sense.  "The first part of practice is always 30 minutes of serving and returning," said Thiessen who's team is 20-2 overall and 14-0 in the South Sequoia League. 
That intensity is something the girls have bought into. "Our work in practice really translates to our court matches," said junior Abby Stevens.
If the hard practice doesn't work, coach Thiessen has a signature pep talk to give the girls before a big match.
"Not many teams get to be where you are."
Wednesday they faced another big opportunity. Win and go to another consecutive section final though the exact number? "I have to always go back to my paperwork to really figure it out," said Thiessen. The number is eleven and with a win over Bakersfield next Tuesday night it would be 12 straight section titles. 
"People say we always win but it's still-every match is a challenge and we go out there with that mindset every time," said senior Tessa Touchstone.
No one plays with that mindset more than senior Delaney Roche. The senior is 24-1 thanks to a hard fought 6-3, 6-3 win over the number three seed in the upcoming valley championship; the same girl that beat her last year.
"She will find ways in which she can take and finds the weakness of her opponents and she'll exploit that," said Thiessen. 
While she has a chance to end her high school career with an individual title this weekend, her play is inspiring the eagles to take their 12th straight as a team. "She encourages us all to do well because we always know that she's going to do well," said senior Margaux Hein.
Her play on the court earned her a plaque provided by Kern Trophies and the title of our athlete of the week.


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