Laguna Blanca Boys’ Tennis Opens Season 2-1

The Owls faced a rain-soaked first half of the 2023 tennis season, but managed to go into spring break with wins over Orcutt Academy and Santa Ynez High School.

Laguna Blanca v. Orcutt Academy: 6-3 Win

In the season opener, Laguna played the CIF-Central Section format of 6 singles matches followed by 3 doubles matches. Sophomore Davis Ohanian led the team at #1 singles with a 6-3, 6-2 win and junior Mason Berg also won in straight sets at the #4 position.

Laguna’s senior captains, Aden Meisel and Kent Dunn, took third-set tie-break wins at the #2 and #3 positions to add to the Owls’ singles tally. Orcutt fired back with wins at the bottom two positions in the lineup, putting the match at 4-2 going into doubles play.

Laguna got a win from Lucas Ayala and new addition to the team Noah Mitev at the #3 doubles position and the last match of the day was won by Ohanian and Meisel, who partnered at the top spot in the doubles lineup.

Laguna Blanca v. Santa Ynez: 6-3 Win

Laguna again utilized the CIFCS format in the match against Santa Ynez.

The Owls split the singles match-play, wins at the #3-#5 positions (Kent Dunn, Mason Berg, Robbie Dunn, respectively). Davis Ohanian nearly pulled up an upset win at the #1 position, playing the experienced Santa Ynez ace to an 11-13 score in the third-set tie-breaker.

With the match tied going into doubles play, Laguna held nothing back in fielding some formidable doubles combinations. Ohanian and Meisel paired for an 8-4 win at the top spot, with Mason Berg and Kent Dunn also partnering for an 8-2 victory. Junior Lucas Ayala shared the #3 position with freshman Noah Mitev to make a clean sweep of the doubles with an 8-3 win.

Laguna Blanca v. Villanova: 5-13 Loss

The match against Villanova High School from Ojai marked the beginning of Tri-Valley League season play. Unfortunately, it ended in a loss against the deeper Villanova squad, but there were some particularly bright moments for the Owls.

Davis Ohanian played lights-out tennis for a 6-2 win over Tristan Montecino, a senior and one of the stronger players in the league. He followed that up with another quick win, moving him to 3-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play.

The pairing of Robbie Dunn and Mason Berg lost a heart-breaker 6-7 at the #1 doubles position after leading early, but rallied to go 2-1 on the day with 6-2, 6-0 set-wins. Aden Meisel added a win over Roman Moga, the Villanova #2 player.

What’s Next for the Owls?

The Owls return to action after a two-week break, facing visiting Carpinteria High School at 3:30pm today. The match will be followed up on Thursday at Laguna, when the Owls will take on Dunn School in the second Tri-Valley League match of the season.

Owls Open Season with 13-5 Win Over Rival Santa Ynez High

The Laguna Blanca Owls boys’ tennis team got the season off to a winning start with a 13-5 victory over visiting Santa Ynez High School (1-1).

How it Happened:

The first round of play was very even, with Santa Ynez taking early leads at #2 singles and #2 and #3 doubles and Laguna up by small margins in the other sets. However, the Owls overcame the overall the “beginning-of-season-jitters” to take all but the #3 doubles for a 5-1 lead.

From there, Laguna continued to roll, winning the second and third rounds 4-2, thanks to six set-wins in singles and seven in doubles.
Junior Ryan Purkait recorded a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 sweep while playing at the #3 singles position, while junior/senior combo Nic Richmond and Kevin Khodabandehlou swept with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 showing on the day.

The Owls also got two of three from John-Henry Schulz in singles, as well as doubles pairings Rodrick Zhu/Owen Pryor and Ben Rodgers/Aiden Meisel. Senior captain Kai Nakamura took an important 7-5 victory at the #1 singles position, despite illness, and finished 1-1 on the day.

Coach Thorpe’s Comments:

To be honest, the first match of the season is always a bit of a question mark, so I was super impressed by the level my guys showed in this season-opener. The match was very close early on and, of course, everyone’s going to be nervous, but they came through and took control of the match.

 I was particularly pleased with the way Ryan played in what was essentially his singles debut for our team. In doubles, there was a ton of good stuff going on, but I saw major improvement in particular from Rodrick; the kid abhorred doubles last season, but he stepped up big-time for us today and showed us how hard he’s been working since the end of last season.

What’s next for the Owls?

Laguna Blanca will play away on Thursday against Cabrillo High School in Lompoc at 3pm.