Owls Head to Spring Break 5-1, #4 Seed

Laguna Blanca faced a tough schedule with two consecutive long-drive, away matches followed by a Division 2 opponent, but came through the stretch with three important victories.

In addition, the Owls are now ranked #4 in CIF Division 4, with only the 9-9 loss to Division 4 rival Santa Ynez holding them back from potentially topping the rankings list. Here’s a recap of the last few matches:

Laguna Blanca @ Coast Union, 16-2 Win

After making the long journey up to Cambria, it was all business for the Owls, who wrapped up the first two rounds of play in just under one hour.

The Laguna singles trio of Conor Scheinberg, Alex Furukawa, and Kai Nakamura were devastatingly strong, dropping just 4 games in 9 sets-of-play.

In doubles, Kovid Mishra and Kevin Khodabandehlou swept their three rounds of play.

I was pleased with the way we competed against a team that’s never beaten us. It was a long drive, too, but the boys came out ready to make progress on their individual games during this match and I think we succeeded in doing that.

Laguna Blanca @ Orcutt Academy, 16-2 Win

Laguna Blanca put on another dominant display, dropping just one set in singles and one in doubles against Orcutt Academy in Santa Maria.

The Owls were led by #2 singles player Alex Furukawa, who won his three sets without dropping a single game.

In doubles, senior combo Jason Barnick and Kelvin Chen led the line with two impressive wins at #1 doubles, before being substituted for freshman combo Nic Richmond and Ryan Purkait, who made it three-for-three at the #1 position on the day.

I was really impressed with the way Jason and Kelvin played in this match. They’ve worked really hard over the last four years to go from the back end of the lineup to absolutely key players, and the singles they have developed were on full display today. Maybe the most exciting part was how seamlessly they worked together throughout their
sets.

Laguna Blanca v. Thacher, 10-8 Win

Laguna won its first match against Thacher since the last year of the Condor League in 2014. That year Laguna went undefeated in league, beating Thacher and Cate twice and making the 2nd round of CIF Playoffs.

The Owls leaned heavily on its singles players, who went 7-2 against the Toads. Alex Furukawa led the team, winning all three of his sets. Victor Liu stepped into the singles lineup and battled mightily to two wins and Kai Nakamura continued his successful sophomore season with two wins of his own.

In doubles, seniors Conor Scheinberg and Jason Barnick won two sets and Kevin Khodabandehlou and Kovid Mishra added a win at #3 doubles.

I’m very pleased with this win. Thacher is always a rival and a tough team. Our boys fought tooth-and-nail, especially the singles guys. We really wanted this one so it was great to get some validation that our training is paying dividends.

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