La Cañada Edges Claremont, Reaches Semifinals

Photo courtesy LCHS Athletics The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis team is one win away from playing its first CIF Southern Section championship match since 1978. The squad, accompanied by head coach Will Moravec, includes Sonia Bhaskaran, Ashley Chun, Tsehay Driscoll, Eliana Hanna, Marlene Hess, Annabelle Kevakian, Kristy Kim, Stacey Kim, Anabel Massabki, Solenn Matuska, Sophia McKenzie, Artis Phillips, Sarah Pyne-Jaeger, Sophia Razavi, Natalie Son, Lisa Sun, Maya Urata, Maya Vasisht, Sydney Wang and Elise Wu.
Photo courtesy LCHS Athletics
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis team is one win away from playing its first CIF Southern Section championship match since 1978. The squad, accompanied by head coach Will Moravec, includes Sonia Bhaskaran, Ashley Chun, Tsehay Driscoll, Eliana Hanna, Marlene Hess, Annabelle Kevakian, Kristy Kim, Stacey Kim, Anabel Massabki, Solenn Matuska, Sophia McKenzie, Artis Phillips, Sarah Pyne-Jaeger, Sophia Razavi, Natalie Son, Lisa Sun, Maya Urata, Maya Vasisht, Sydney Wang and Elise Wu.

Longtime La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis coach Will Moravec finally had his wish granted this season, and it has certainly benefitted his program.
“The last couple of years, I’ve been hoping we’d be in Division 2,” Moravec said. “A lot of times, CIF puts us in Division 1 and that’s super tough for us. The timing was right, and we’re in Division 2 with two hotshot freshman girls who really gave us depth this year.”
The added depth and placement in Division 2 allowed the Spartans to make an impressive postseason run, reaching the CIF Southern Section Division 2 semifinals following a 10-8 victory over Claremont on Monday.
La Cañada traveled to Long Beach on Wednesday to take on Poly in a semifinal match. Should the Spartans come away with a victory, they would advance to the final match against the winner of the other semifinal match between Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo and Chino Hills Ayala.
The Spartans have not played a CIF-SS championship match in 40 years. They finished as runners-up against Corona del Mar in 1978 and won the Division 3A crown in 1977 by defeating San Marino.
“The margins are getting smaller,” Moravec said. “The matches are going to be a lot closer and it’s going to be tight. There were a ton of 9-9 and 10-8 matches in first few rounds. That shows that CIF is doing a good job of making parity. You have to be on the top of your game. There’s no time for a bad day. Hopefully our girls will be ready and play great. They played great on Monday.”
The Spartans opened the playoff tournament with a 14-4 victory over Los Angeles Brentwood and followed that with an upset win over No. 2-seeded Redlands, which finished the regular season unbeaten.
The Division 2 championship match will be played at the Claremont Club this Friday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m.

LCHS Challenge Success Set to Confront Student Pressure

Trying to get through school under the pressure of teenage social norms, good grades, high test scores and multiple extracurricular activities, all with the aim of gaining acceptance to a top-tier college, can feel a little like Sisyphus rolling a boulder uphill for La Cañada Unified School District students.
“LCHS is a very competitive school,” said Nicole Johnson, a 17-year-old senior. “We take pride in our grades and all of that. But it gets to the point where we’re like enemies. It’s not a very healthy environment. That’s why I really like Challenge Success. Because I want to create that community environment where we’re all trying to help each other and we can get there together.” Continue reading “LCHS Challenge Success Set to Confront Student Pressure”

LCHS Orchestras to Spotlight Work of Women Composers

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Jennifer Munday, La Cañada High School advanced orchestra director, instructs her musicians as they perform Yoko Shimomura’s “Kingdom Hearts.” They’re preparing for a concert on Oct. 17.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Jennifer Munday, La Cañada High School advanced orchestra director, instructs her musicians as they perform Yoko Shimomura’s “Kingdom Hearts.” They’re preparing for a concert on Oct. 17.

Toward the end of last year, La Cañada High School music instructor Jennifer Munday and LCHS 7/8 instrumental colleague Jimmie Myers were discussing the possibility of a concert featuring the music of women composers only.
“It’s just a thing that came up,” said advanced orchestra director Munday after a recent rehearsal. Both agreed it would be a great idea, and she later determined that “we really need to do this.” Continue reading “LCHS Orchestras to Spotlight Work of Women Composers”

National Merit Semifinalists Win Honors, Could Gain Even More

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK La Cañada High School seniors who recently became National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists include Kevin Mo (front row, from left), Kyle Lee, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Andrew Kwon and Justin Hyon. Back: Ryan Choi, Amanda Laus, Diya Razdan, Jared Ahn, Veronica Muller and Andrew Chae.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada High School seniors who recently became National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists include Kevin Mo (front row, from left), Kyle Lee, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Andrew Kwon and Justin Hyon. Back: Ryan Choi, Amanda Laus, Diya Razdan, Jared Ahn, Veronica Muller and Andrew Chae.

The 12 La Cañada High School seniors named semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program recently had some tasty treats — think small cartons of orange juice, blueberry muffins and Smarties — to recognize their talents. But they could be in line for a greater award.
Students who were honored recently included Jared Ahn, Andrew Chae, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Ryan Choi, Justin Hyon, Andrew Kwon, Amanda Laus, Kyle Lee, Kevin Mo, Veronica Muller and Diya Razdan.
They are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, or less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, according to an announcement from National Merit Scholarship Program. The semifinalists, who include the highest-scoring entrants in each state, took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the release. Those who later become finalists would be eligible for scholarships through the program and other sources.
Continue reading “National Merit Semifinalists Win Honors, Could Gain Even More”