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Spring Smash: Vikes smash the brackets

Tennis: Valencia takes top spot in Spring Smash

Posted: March 20, 2010 9:16 p.m.
Updated: March 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia senior Tyler Gottshall serves against Granada Hills at the Spring Smash on Saturday at Valencia High.

 
Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg said it took "about 10 years" for her Vikings to win their first Spring Smash, the pre-Foothill League tournament they've hosted for the last 15 years.

But as Valencia No. 1 singles player Tyler Gottshall looked around the courts in the final round Saturday, he saw nothing but teammates.

The hosts were well on their way to stealing their own show - again.

In what might have been their most dominant Smash win ever, the Vikings ran away with first place on team points, with Gottshall taking an 8-5 victory over teammate Ben Inchalik for the singles crown, and Valencia's Tayven Townsend and Dalton Ullman taking the doubles brackets from teammates Daniel Bogan and Daniel Bingham with an 8-3 win.

The tournament invited two singles players and two doubles teams from Adolfo Camarillo, Birmingham and Granada Hills high schools, as well as the Foothill League high schools: Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart, Saugus and West Ranch.

On top of a singles' and doubles' bracket, each group was assigned points for every set earned, split between a winners' bracket and one for a consolation bracket.

Gottshall, a four-year varsity player, was impressed by his squad's showing this time around.

"We were all in the finals (this year), so that was pretty good," Gottshall said. "I think it's the best we've ever done."

Granada Hills narrowly missed out on second this year, but the West Ranch doubles pair of Kirill Lipa and Evan Abbott made an upset run by knocking off the top seed in the second round, winning their third-place match and then earning a tiebreaker win to secure second place for their team.

"It was a good experience and we just mixed well," said Lipa.

Wildcats head coach Eric Spiecker said the pair had never played together, but it was a combination he wanted to test out before league play begins Tuesday.

While some pairs were learning chemistry, others were scouting future league opponents.

Bingham and Bogan said it was an excellent opportunity for a preview before they opened Foothill play at West Ranch on Tuesday.

"Before (our semifinal) we were watching (Abbott and Lipa), and we knew to slice to their backhand," Bingham said. "It helped a lot, actually."

Canyon's No. 1 doubles team of Corey Yamaoka and Harry Lee took the consolation bracket in doubles, and Justin Anderson of Adolfo Camarillo took the singles title on the consolation side with an 8-2 win over Matt Kincaid, the No. 2 singles player for Canyon.


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