While the San Marino High girls' tennis program has a storied tradition that includes 11 team championships, with the latest won less than a month ago, it's been nearly 15 years since the Titans produced an individual champion.
That bit of history may change, though, as Titans senior Dorothy Tang won two matches at Wednesday's CIF Southern Section Individual Tennis Championships and earned advancement to Thursday's semifinals at the Seal Beach Tennis Club.
The Princeton-bound Tang will either face Moore League champion Cindy Nguyen of Long Beach Millikan or South Coast League champion Mayci Jones of Tesoro at approximately noon.
Jones and Nguyen had their quarterfinal match Wednesday afternoon postponed due to rain. The action will commence at 11 a.m. with Jones up 6-2, 2-0 with the winner set to face Tang afterward.
"It's probably going to be Mayci and she's going to be tough," Pereira said. "She just won the national open, so it's going to take a huge effort."
Jones is coming off claiming last weekend's Girls' 18-and-under United States National Open held in Irvine.
Yet, Tang has already overcome long odds in reaching the semifinals, including Wednesday when Tang exacted some revenge by topping USTA second-ranked Emma Higuchi of Campbell Hall in the quarterfinals, 7-5, 6-2.
"We had a strategy today and that was to mix it up and Dorothy did. I was so proud of her," Pereira said. "In the past, Dorothy has just tried to overpower Emma and you can't really do that. Today, she attacked her in different ways."
Tang confused Higuchi with an array of shots, including 40-mile-per-hour loose shots, well-placed drop shots, shots down the line and 80-mile-per-hour arc shots, according to Pereira.
Tang's victory avenged a 6-7, 6-1, 10-2 defeat to Higuchi in the second round of the CIF United States Tennis Assn. Regional Tennis Championships at the Claremont Club on Nov. 17.
Higuchi, a U.S. Open qualifier, also topped Tang, 6-4, in the Titans' 13-5 nonleague defeat versus Campbell Hall on Oct. 17.
Previous to defeating Higuchi, Tang opened up Round of 32 action with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Yuki Asami of University.
Tang, the Rio Hondo League champion, is hoping to become the first Titan to advance to the CIF Individual Championship round since Luana Magnani clinched a title in 1999.
Tang did not enter the day alone as doubles teammates and fellow league champions, senior Larissa Phillips and freshman Madeleine Gandawidjaja, also hoped to become the Titans' first doubles team to reach the finals since 1997.
That goal, however, fell short as Phillips and Gandawidjaja were bested by Cassidy Spearman and Jessica Perez of Dana Hills, 6-1, 6-2.
"I know they lost, but the team they lost to is amazing. In fact, one of those two girls might even turn pro," Pereira said. "After the match, Larissa wondered why I was so happy and it's because she and Madeleine played their best match of the year.
"I don't think they realized how tough it is to take a game away from that team and they won three games. I was proud that they gave everything."