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Breakdown: Valencia vs. West Ranch

Posted: April 30, 2014 10:29 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2014 10:30 p.m.

 

The wait is over.

Today we get to see the two top tennis programs in the Santa Clarita Valley go at it again in the Foothill League finale as West Ranch travels to Valencia for a match beginning at 3 p.m.

The Wildcats (9-0 Foothill League) have been running over all their league opponents this season but needed strong play from top to bottom in their 10-8 win over Valencia (8-1 in league) on April 3.

The win may have ended the Vikings’ 75-straight Foothill League match winning streak, but Valencia rebounded quickly and won its next four league matches handily.

The Vikings are coming off a 13-5 win over Hart, the third place team in league, and the Wildcats took care of business against Golden Valley, winning 15-3.

With such a close match last time, it’s easy to predict that today’s match will come down to the wire as well.

But can West Ranch finish its league slate with a perfect record or will the Vikings avenge their only loss?

Here are some keys for each team as they look to finish Foothill League play on a high note:

West Ranch: The Wildcats got two big additions to their rotation this offseason in Harrison Collins and Noah Marrow. Those two have allowed head coach Eric Spiecker to put players like Chris Gaw and Quincy Walter-Eze, who would be playing singles, into doubles teams. That depth has been crucial to the Wildcats’ success this season.

West Ranch won eight of its nine doubles sets against Valencia, thanks in large part to the efforts of Gaw and Walter-Eze.

Gaw and his partner Jonathan Y. Lee swept the Vikings in the first match, winning 6-0, 6-0, 6-1.

Walter-Eze and his partner Logan Boute also swept, winning their sets by scores of 6-2, 6-1, 7-5.

Valencia: You’re almost guaranteed six points between Chad LeDuff and Joey Fernicola in singles. They’ve been the best one-two punch in the Foothill League for the second year in a row.

What Valencia needs to beat West Ranch is more production from its doubles lineup. The No. 1 team of Sam Rebele and Ravi Jayanthi has been strong for Valencia. A couple of sets on the doubles side could be the difference again today.

Rankings: Hart cemented its place in third with its 13-5 win over Golden Valley on April 24. Saugus and Canyon will finish in the bottom two. Now all that’s left to see is where West Ranch and Valencia finish.

1. West Ranch

2. Valencia

3. Hart

4. Golden Valley

5. Saugus

6. Canyon

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