Laguna Blanca boys’ tennis finally met their match today, dropping a 7-11 decision at West Covina High School. The match decided which team would advance to the CIF Division Finals to play Geffen Academy, a 10-8 winner over Westminster High School.
How it Happened
The day was characterized by blustery conditions, with wind gusts reaching 30 miles-per-hour, but the tennis went on with intensity.
In the first round, Laguna banked dominant performances from Kai Suzuki and Cody Busch-Weiss at #1 doubles and Ben Rodgers and Davis Ohanian at the #2 spot. Junior Aden Meisel added a nice 6-2 set-win at the #3 singles position.
On the other side, West Covina relied upon strength at the #1 and #2 singles positions, including Adam Lee who as recently as a few months ago was ranked #210 in the country in his class. West Covina leveled the match at 3-3 with a 6-2 win at #3 doubles, the first time this playoffs that Laguna had lost a set against a #3 team.
Round two went sharply against the visiting Owls, with West Covina rapidly sweeping the singles and giving Rodgers and Ohanian their first loss of the playoffs. Suzuki and Busch-Weiss took care of business at the top spot, while Mason Berg and Jake Gidney lost a tight 4-6 set against the top team from West Covina.
With the match now slipping away (4-8) after two rounds, Laguna battled on. Senior Owen Pryor registered a 6-0 win to end his playing career, while senior team captions Ben Rodgers and Kai Suzuki each winning in similar fashion with their doubles partners. The Owls were stopped at 7 wins though, as West Covina picked up the other three sets and book their berth in the title match on Friday.
West Covina is the first team we’ve played in the playoffs that didn’t really have any weak points in their lineup. We have been winning 7-8 sets in doubles, thanks to our depth, but we only got 5 today. They also had a very strong singles lineup, so there were very few easy points to put on the scoreboard.
I would have loved to see this very deserving group of guys get a chance to play in that title match on Friday, but I can’t be disappointed by the way they competed. We had a great post-season, and both in the 4 wins and this loss, we can be proud of our performance and the way we carried ourselves.