Boys’ tennis wins league, reaches semifinals for 3rd straight year

By Austin Lee

The boys’ tennis team emerged victorious in the CIF quarterfinals last Tuesday, defeating Corona del Mar 10-8. It played against Palos Verdes in the CIF semifinals yesterday.

In its CIF run, the team defeated Trabuco Hills 14-4, Calabasas 15-3 and Corona del Mar 10-8. The team dropped only four sets against Trabuco despite competing with some players missing and others resting. The only players to lose were freshmen who were substituted in order to gain experience from the match.

“The key is getting the experience for our younger players that will make us tougher next year,” Head Coach Chris Simpson said.

In the second round match against Calabasas, the team started off strong and increased its lead every round, or six sets, reaching 10-2 by the end of two rounds and continuing in the third and final round with another five wins.

“I liked the way our guys stayed tough in the first round of matches against Calabasas,” Simpson said. “We had to be cautious not to be overconfident, and we did just that.”

In their match against Corona del Mar, however, the Wolverines had a rough time, barely escaping a tie. After the first round of the match the score was tied at 3-3, but the team had lost all three of the doubles sets, an ominous sign for the rounds to come (the team had been worried about Corona del Mar’s doubles prowess prior to the match). However, the team gained a large lead during the second round, winning five out of six sets and sweeping all three of the doubles sets.

In the last round, Corona del Mar made a large comeback, winning four sets of six. However, singles player Jackson Frons ’12 and the doubles team of Harrison Kalt ’13 and Matthew Wagner ’11 both managed to win their sets, allowing the team to hold on to their lead and win the match.

The team faced the number two seeded school Palos Verdes in CIF semifinals on Tuesday after press time. The Wolverines lost in their previous game against Palos Verdes 7-11, but should have won, as the team dropped many close sets, according to co-captain Matthew Wagner ’11.

In CIF individuals, the team was represented by the pair of Jeffrey Bu ’12 and Kalt, the pair who won the Mission League doubles title. They played at the sectionals on Friday at Carpinteria High and Cate High and advanced to the final round of the sectionals, but lost in the next round against their final opponents.

“Individuals was a great experience,” Bu said. “I had the chance to play doubles, which is something pretty new for me and this year’s tennis team. Harrison and I had a lot of fun and were really excited about winning league individuals and advancing so far in regional individuals.”

The team also won League Finals with a perfect league record. The Wolverines were crowned champions of the Mission League yet again and extended their streak of consecutive league wins to 124.

“That is the number two best all-time record in any league in the CIF,” Simpson said. “We are chasing the 191 consecutive win record set by Santa Barbara many years ago.”