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Still undefeated

• Valencia holds off Wildcats in another close match.

Posted: April 4, 2008 10:40 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Valencia High's Tyler Gottshall returns a ball from West Ranch singles player Jordan Hovis during a match on Thursday. The Vikings escaped with a close 11-7 victory.

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The Valencia boys varsity tennis team remains unbeaten in the Foothill League after defeating West Ranch 11-7 on Thursday on the Vikings home turf.

The two teams have the best records in league and Thursday's match was one of the closest the Vikings were involved in. Overcoming the scare, however, Valencia (17-1, 6-0)) continues to reign dominance on the singles side led by senior Jack Zapala.

Zapala was the only singles player for the Vikings to sweep all three of his sets ( 6-0, 6-1, 6-0) only allowing his opponents to score one game.

Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg contributes Zapala's dominance to his ability to be consistent every match.

"Jack played brilliantly today," she said. "His scores are always pretty consistent and that's what makes him such a great player."

Viking Tyler Gottshall also had a good day, defeated West Ranch's No. 1 seed Beau Martin (6-1) and No. 3 seed Jaishen Wei (6-0).

On the doubles side, Valencia was led by Cameron Phillips and Ben Inchalik who were the only doubles team to sweep all three of their sets (6-3, 6-1, 6-4)

This is only the second match that Phillips and Inchalik have played together, but they credit their success at Thursday's match to self-assurance.

"Once we won our first set we had a lot of confidence going into the next two." Inchalik said.

Kellogg was equally impressed with the duo's performance.

"Ben and Cameron did awesome and were really on fire," she said. " They had a game plan and stuck to it and did well with their communication."

The stubborn Wildcats team (6-3-1, 4-2) came into the match with a lot of momentum and produced some solid performances, including Jordan Hovis, who went 2-1 on the afternoon. In doubles, Kevin (blank) and Jeremy (blank) also took two of three matches.

But it wasn't enough to edge out the Viking team.

West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker was not dissatisfied in his team's effort.

"The team came into the match pumped and ready to go, and unfortunately one set can turn that around in a matter of minutes," Spiecker said. "We lost a lot of momentum after the first set loss and Valencia applied the pressure at crucial times, but I'm not disappointed in the way we played." he said.

But its nothing new for the Vikings team to be doing so well.

How do you keep a team that is so successful, motivated and safe from complacency?

Kellogg says its no easy task.

"It's been a bit of a challenge to keep the fire with these guys," she said. "We have a lot of good schools to face before we get to the playoffs and we have to get ready for that."

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