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Vikings find a doubles boost

Kimmelman anchors Valencia from doubles side

Posted: March 19, 2009 1:37 a.m.
Updated: March 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
This season, the Valencia boys tennis team has been looking for someone to provide leadership on the doubles side.

On Wednesday, the Vikings may have found him.

Normally a singles player, Ronny Kimmelman suffered a recent ankle injury and paired with Anders Jansson on the No. 1 doubles team Wednesday. The duo completed Valencia’s first doubles sweep this season as the Vikings knocked off Buckley of Sherman Oaks 14-4 at Valencia High School.

Kimmelman and Jansson defeated Buckley’s Dylan Johnson and Marco Sotela 6-3, then beat the team of Nick Golden and Jono Rosenblum 6-2, and finished by blanking Starr Hathaway and Alan Osinaff 6-0.

“(Kimmelman) provided a bigger serve, bigger volleys, bigger returns, bigger everything,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellog. “We really needed some leadership in doubles.”

Buckley’s top singles player, Cyrus Shki-Khan, swept his three matches, but Valencia scored victories in the other six singles match, led by Tyler Gottshall’s dominant 6-0 triumph over Buckley’s Tommy Cho.

Gottshall’s success provides leadership for the singles players, and Kimmelman noted that the doubles side needs stability, too.

“It’s really important, because Tyler’s winning in singles, so someone in doubles needs to be winning,” Kimmelman said. “I had to play doubles today because I was injured, and it worked out.”

The doubles teams only dropped one set the entire day, and four different teams earned a victory for Valencia (5-1).

It’s a fact that isn’t lost on Buckley head coach Sue Sherman.

“I think doubles is what wins it for you,” she said. “You figure that most teams will have ranked players, and your doubles counteract that. Doubles will win it for you.”

Doubles teams have been helping Valencia win the Foothill League for six of the last seven seasons, and the addition of Kimmelman may help the Vikings do it again.

“Ronny has worked hard all season,” Kellogg said. “He’s got a big game. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and intensity. He’s just focused and really competitive, so that kind of energy really bodes well in doubles.”

It bodes well for the entire team, too.

“As far as team unity, it really helps,” Kellogg said. “We’ve been doing different doubles teams all preseason. We just haven’t found that monster team that’s going to go out and dominate. It was nice to have a real dominating team today.”

Valencia will host the Varsity Spring Smash starting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, where the Vikings will look for similar success.

“We’re the only team that swept,” Kimmelman said of himself and Jansson. “If we can do that every time, then maybe I should be on doubles every time.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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