The whole team got involved in the action today, with all 13 members playing during the match at the Dunn School in Santa Ynez. It was a far cry from our first match of the season, where we could only field seven players, two of which had not yet learned to keep score.
Leading the way for the Owls were Atty Roddick (pictured above), Phillip Hicks, and Ethan Tyng, who partnered with different teammates throughout the matches en-route to 3-0 records on the day in doubles. The Laguna doubles lineup, in fact, went undefeated on the day.
We are now 7-3 and will play again today at home against St. Bonaventure High School at 3pm. As a freelance team (not part of a league), CIF requires us to play a minimum of 16 matches to be eligible for playoffs. In addition, we must have a winning record to be considered for selection and must have an 80% win-percentage to get an automatic bid.
Doing the math, that means we have a chance to automatically qualify if we go undefeated in the last six matches of the season. Our hopes of achieving this goal have been buoyed recently by the addition of freshman Ethan Tyng and senior Cooper Farrell, as well as sophomore Kelvin Chen. The three newcomers accounted for five of our 12 sets yesterday and they figure to improve with regular practice. In addition, we are expecting the return of our wayward thespian, Mitch Gravelle, who provided a boost to the roster in the early part of the season.
One of the challenges of a 10-week season is getting to the end of it with the team intact and firing on all cylinders. I believe we are poised to do just that, making us a potential outside contender if we can just claw (or “talon”) our way into the CIF playoff picture.
*Thanks to Kristin Tyng for providing most of the photos for this post!