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On the Beat Tennis: Season not over yet

Posted: May 21, 2014 10:28 p.m.
Updated: May 21, 2014 10:28 p.m.
 

With all of the Santa Clarita Valley boys tennis teams eliminated from the postseason, it’s time to turn our attention to the CIF-Southern Section individual sectionals.

On Tuesday, the CIF released its sectional assignments and again, as it has the entire season, all the focus will be on the players from West Ranch and Valencia.

On the first day of sectionals on May 29, Valencia’s singles entrant Chad LeDuff has been here before, literally.

LeDuff will be headed back to Cate School in Carpinteria for this year’s singles sectionals

Last year at Cate, LeDuff won his first round match against Laguna Blanca’s Ben Furikawa 6-4, 6-0 before falling in the second round to David Goulack of Oak Park.

With another year of competition under his belt, and even a little adversity in league play, look for LeDuff, the Foothill League singles champion, to make an even deeper run in the tournament.

And then there’s the doubles tournament.

On the same day, fellow Viking Sam Rebele also has experience in the individual tournament, as he and former partner David Myers made it to the third round of sectionals last year at Carpinteria High.

They started with a first-round bye and then defeated Jesse Weinstein and Harrison White of Mailbu 6-1, 6-1 in the second round.

In the third round, however, they lost to Calabasas’ Scotty Garapedian and Bruce Man Song Hing a close match 7-6, 6-4.

This year, again at Carpinteria High, Rebele and new partner Ravi Jayanthi will see if they can advance even further.

It could be difficult though for the Foothill League’s second-place doubles team.

While Rebele and Jayanthi have been by far the most consistent pairing for the Vikings, they haven’t quite been able to push themselves over the hump when playing high-quality competition.

Their personal friendship, dating back to kindergarten, makes it easier for them to communicate on the court.

And Jayanthi could greatly benefit from Rebele’s experience last year.

We’ll see if Valencia’s most vocal team can make their voices heard this year.

While we have a pretty good idea of how Valencia matches up in this year’s individual tournament thanks to last year’s results, the West Ranch qualifiers are much more of a question mark.

Harrison Collins, who will be joining LeDuff at Cate School, made it to the first round of the individual tournament in his freshman year, where he lost to the top-seeded Blake Mackall 6-1, 6-1.

After taking two years away from West Ranch to essentially focus on tennis, Collins makes his return trip to the individual tournament.

We’ll see if that time away has given him the tools needed to make it past the first round in his senior year.

The Wildcats’ doubles qualifiers, and Foothill League doubles championships Chris Gaw and Noah Morrow are another question mark.

Morrow is typically a singles player and Gaw has had numerous partners over the course of the season.

How far they make it in sectionals depends on Morrow’s ability to switch from a singles mind-set to a doubles one and Gaw’s leadership.

Gaw was able to right the ship when he and Morrow fell behind Rebele and Jayanthi in the Foothill League doubles championship.

After dropping the first set 6-2, they came back and grabbed the next two by scores of 6-3, 6-1 for the title.

The freshman Morrow has the energy, but it’s up to Gaw to point it in the right direction.

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