The CIF Southern Section playoffs ended rather quickly for the Cerritos High girls tennis team a year ago, something coach Alvin Kim and his players are not about to repeat in 2009.
"I didn't think we performed well," Kim said of last year's 11-7 loss to South Torrance in the second round of the Division IV playoffs.
Kim felt the teams were improperly seeded and shouldn't have met that early but made no excuses. "A second-round loss is always bad.
"We're eager to prove ourselves (this year)."
The Dons will get that chance beginning Thursday when the first round of the Division IV playoffs begins. Cerritos will host the winner of today's Oak Hills-Palmdale wild-card match at 2 p.m.
The Suburban League-champion Dons take an 18-2 overall record into the first round and are ranked No. 4 in the division. Seniors Chelsea Logan and Priscilla Lee are the No. 1 doubles team and will be counted upon heavily.
"We're expecting them to win three sets every time," Kim said.
Juniors Preethika Venugopal and Hannah Yoo are the top singles players, although Yoo has been battling a right leg injury most of the season.
In Division III, fifth-ranked Wilson opens first-round play at home against either Righetti or Hart. The Bruins are the Moore League champions and are 13-2 overall.
Moore League runner-up Lakewood (11-3) visits Almont League champion Mark Keppel in another first-round match and San Gabriel Valley League champion Paramount (18-1) hosts either Kennedy or Charter Oak on Thursday.
CAMS finished second in the Olympic League and hosts Capistrano Valley (third place South Coast League) Thursday in Division I. The Rebels are 12-5 overall and feature a strong group of seniors - Haley Costigan, Kemi Oyewole and Tiana Takenaga - who were freshmen on the team that won the Division V crown in 2006.
"(That experience) definitely helps," CAMS coach Juliette Prince. "I've seen that in the last few matches we've played."
If the Rebels win Thursday, they'll face either Peninsula or Chaminade in the second round. CAMS beat Chaminade in a first-round match last year and was defeated by Peninsula in a nonleague match this year.
"Either way, we have to bring it," said Prince.
In Division II, Los Alamitos (11-3) hosts Crescenta Valley on Thursday. The Griffins finished second in the Sunset League and are ranked No.10.