It’s been a busy week and a half for the Laguna Owls, with four matches and two players competing in the oldest and most prestigious tournament in California.
The high school division of The Ojai is an invitation-only event, pitting the top 64 singles players and doubles teams in CIF against each other in individual competition. Laguna Blanca’s Tristan Prinz and Phillip Hicks were entered and accepted as a doubles squad, while Ben Furukawa made the alternate list but did not have the opportunity to compete.
In the first round, Prinz/Hicks drew a pair from Aliso Niguel with loads of tournament match experience, but they played a very close match. The first set was a nervous one, with several lead changes before Aliso Niguel held serve to take the set 6-4. In the second, Laguna rallied to go up 3-0, 4-1, and then 5-2 serving, but could not close the set out, eventually losing in a tie-breaker.
It’s always an honor to be selected for The Ojai, so regardless of the frustrating result, Prinz and Hicks had an excellent day. In addition to their match, they also got to see several other strong high school players competing, as well as the D1 college matchup between Oregon and Stanford. They also took part in such traditions as visiting the wall of past champions and sampling the famous Boccali’s strawberry shortcake.
In team match-play, Laguna went 2-2, losing to Santa Ynez (#4 in D4) 7-11 and Cate (#3 seed in D4) 4-14. On the positive side, Laguna beat Dunn 16-2 and survived a tighter than expected match with Thacher yesterday, claiming a 10-8 victory.
Laguna plays Thacher again this coming Monday and will then close the season against Besant Hill on Wednesday. Both matches are at home.