Another title for Gould

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Approaching the North Bay League tennis finals much like a long weekend of junior tournament play, Montgomery’s Emily Gould was strong and efficient in capturing her second straight girls’ title.

Montgomery's Emily Gould plays against teammate Taylor Wood in the NBL finals at Santa Rosa High School, Oct. 21, 2010. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / PD)

Losing just six games in four matches over two days, the Montgomery junior was as dominant as ever. She took a 6-0, 6-2 win over Vikings teammate Taylor Wood in the singles final Thursday after an earlier straight sets semifinal win over Angel Tran of Piner. Only once in three seasons has Gould lost an NBL match and that came in the singles final as a freshman.

“There’s a little pressure,” Gould said. “I just try to go into all the matches caring what happens and just do my hardest.”

Even practicing against Gould didn’t give her opponent much of a chance against a game featuring strong serving, hard and deep returns and angled passing shots from both sides, as well as lob with touch now and then.

“She has really good placement. So I had to run a lot and I was already tired,” said Wood, coming off a three-set comeback semifinal win over Kathy Chu of Maria Carrillo. I tried to move her around and get her tired, but it didn’t work very well.”

Earning the league’s automatic berth in the North Coast Section singles championships next month, Gould’s goal is to improve on last year when she lost in the second round.

“There’s definitely a lot stronger players there,” she said. “I just want to go into it with a positive attitude and hope for the best, see how far I can go.”

Montgomery's Taylor Wood.

Gould has played in United States Tennis Association tournaments since age 12 and over the past year has entered older brackets as well as top levels for her age group. Winter workouts with a personal trainer also improved her strength and conditioning.

“It helps me stay in points longer and have better results,” Gould said.

In another effort to improve her strokes, particularly her forehand and serve, Gould switched racket grips at the urging of her personal coach. While frustrating at first, Gould now feels even more confident on the court.

“I have a lot more power. I try to be consistent and take chances when I can,” she said.

Much like her favorite player, Justine Henin, one of the world’s best, Gould is playing strong and steady tennis.

“She’s pretty aggressive and she’s really consistent when she needs to be,” said Gould, a fan as much a student of the game. “You need to have fun with what you’re doing out there.”

You can reach Staff Writer Michael Coit at 521-5470 or mike.coit@pressdemocrat.com.