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Rebels win games within the game

n Quartz Hill downs Saugus thanks to amount of accumulated games

Posted: March 14, 2009 1:30 a.m.
Updated: March 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus singles player Marc Liff prepares to hit a return to Quartz Hill's Paul Whang (not pictured) in a match Friday at Saugus High School.

The Saugus boys tennis team scored six doubles victories but Quartz Hill answered with six singles wins to and an edge in overall points to hand the Centurions their first loss of the season at home Friday.

The Rebels and Saugus ended their meet tied at nine apiece, but Quartz hill won the games 86-74 thanks to several dominant performances from its singles squad.

All three solo competitors for the Rebels (4-2) took two of their three sets to key the Quartz Hill victory.

“Our three singles guys stepped up big for us tonight,” said Quartz Hill head coach Dennis Smith. “We stumbled in the doubles, but we were able to pull it out thanks to singles.”

T.J. St. Marie, Gary Smith and Paul Whang shared the singles glory for the Rebels, while the teams of Austin Jones and Kevin Okimoto, Henry Ngo and Chris Poursayadi, and Tim Chin and Jeff Novoa snagged a pair of wins for the Centurions (3-1).

“Our doubles teams played well overall,” Poursayadi said. “I thought we did good on singles too, but they just edged us out.”
Smith won a pair of matches 6-0 to help the Rebels build their 12-game lead, and Whang also chipped in a shutout victory for Quartz Hill.

“We played them last year, and we knew they had an experienced team coming back so we knew they were bringing some good players back,” said Saugus head coach Allan Hardbarger. “Still, we came out hungry and our guys were excited to play someone else since we’ve been scrimmaging against ourselves so much.”

The match came down to the final two singles matches. With the doubles already completed, the teams were tied with eight matches each.

Number three singles player Marc Liff scored a 6-3 upset for Saugus to give the Cents the edge, but Whang closed out the Rebel win with his second 6-0 win.

“Our singles players all played very consistently today,” Smith said. “It’s early, but we know we need to work on our doubles game as far as getting our guys to attack the net.”

Saugus will have to wait to avenge its narrow defeat. The Centurions are off for a week until they are slated to participate in a tournament at Valencia, while Quartz Hill will get back on the court this weekend for an eight-team tournament at home.

“We did a good job of finishing out our sets,” Hardbarger said. “I was pleased with the senior leadership we displayed today. A close matchup like this lets us know where we are as a group and what we are doing well and what we need to work on.”


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