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Cats take a swipe, Valencia still survives

Nonetheless, Vikings No. 1 singles sees his perfect league record fall

Posted: April 21, 2009 10:19 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Perfection was in peril for Valencia boys tennis Tuesday.

West Ranch nearly ended the Vikings’ undefeated run through the Foothill League before falling 10-8 at home.

However, one streak was brought to a halt Tuesday. Top Valencia singles player Tyler Gottshall fell for the first time in league when Jordan Hovis broke him for a 6-4 win during the second group of sets.

The victory, which was one of three during an unblemished day for Hovis, set up a dramatic final round of matches with the score knotted at six.

“I just stayed patient,” Hovis said of the match. “I waited for my opportunities and took advantage of them when I got them. I think it helped build momentum for us going into the last group of sets.”

West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker changed his lineup in an attempt to get early victories, sliding Hovis to the two spot and flip-flopping his first and third doubles teams.

“I wanted to find a way to match our strengths to their weaknesses in the beginning,” Spiecker said. “I thought if we could be in it through the first couple of sets then we could put the heat on them and maybe win this one.”

The Wildcats (8-3, 5-2) actually grabbed a pair of late leads at 7-6 and 8-7 before the contest was locked at eight with Gottshall battling Beau Martin and the top Valencia doubles team of Ronny Kimelman and Anders Jansson dueling West Ranch’s Jeremy Ramirez and Julius Macalutas.

Gottshall knocked off Martin 6-4 and Kimelman and Jansson took their set by winning a tie-breaker 7-4 to score the overall win for the Vikings (12-2, 7-0).

“We knew we had to close it out because we weren’t sure if we needed to get a win to take the whole match,” Kimelman said. “In the end, it was our goal to beat West Ranch twice and we accomplished that goal.”

Kimelman and Jansson proved to be critical parts of achieving that goal. The duo were the only members of the Valencia team to win all three of their sets.

Hovis was the only player with an undefeated day for West Ranch. The Wildcats also got two wins from Martin as the West Ranch took five of the nine singles sets.

“I look at this as an exciting day for West Ranch tennis,” Spiecker said. “This is the best a West Ranch team has ever played against Valencia. We were a couple of breaks away from winning the match, which is great when you consider this is a top 10 CIF team.”

It was Valencia’s doubles that proved to be the difference, taking six of nine sets. On top of the three wins from Kimelman and Jansson, the Vikings also got a pair of points from J.R. Macalutas and Matt Cheng.

Gottshall chipped in a pair of victories on the singles side.

“You could see that West Ranch really wanted to win,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. “We were able to rely on our experience though to take it. This is why we play a tough out of league schedule because we know we have to be ready for days like this one. I think our pride and tradition helped us win today.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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