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n Phillips, Stewart All-SCV Doubles Team of the Year

Posted: July 2, 2008 1:58 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Valencia boys tennis players Cameron Phillips, left, and Michael Stewart formed a formidable duo this past season at Valencia High School.

A curve ball was thrown and there was no hitter at the plate.

This wasn't a baseball game.

It was the Foothill League tennis prelims.

Valencia's No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, Jack Zapala and Tyler Gottshall, entered into the doubles draw.

For most, this meant the singles draw was up for grabs and everyone else was playing for second in doubles.

Two players, though, were up for the challenge.

Teammates Cameron Phillips and Michael Stewart wanted to see their teammates on the other side of the net.

The duo faced Zapala and Gottshall in the third round of the league finals ultimately falling to the tandem, 6-2, 7-6.

Phillips and Stewart's partnership goes beyond the court.

The seniors' friendship dates back to elementary school.

However, it was a tournament in Bakersfield two years ago that the duo realized they would make a good team.

After breezing through a first-round win, the pair faced Bakersfield's No. 1 seed, drawing in a large crowd.

Though they were not the victors in that set, they played better together than ever before.

Phillips and Stewart were only two of three returning doubles players from the Vikings squad in 2007.

Valencia finished the ‘07 season in the No. 1 spot. Vikings head coach Annie Kellogg did a lot of juggling around this season in the doubles draw.

Throughout the Vikings reign in league, Phillips and Stewart, often times, were partnered with other teammates.

Phillips and Stewart played most of their matches together in the preseason, where the Vikings went 11-1.

Phillips had success throughout league action with Ben Inchalik, while Stewart teamed up with Ronny Kimelsman.

Valencia, however, ultimately saw its demise in the quarterfinal round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

Last season, Stewart was the second half to Steven Novak.

Novak and Stewart finished with the best record on the Vikings squad 25-2 in league.

Stewart and Novak defeated last years All-SCV Doubles Team of the Year, Darrell Pieres and Kevin Song, in the league finals. This season, sans Novak, Stewart looked to maintain his prowess as a doubles players. And partnering up with Phillips was a factor in his success. As the Vikings finished atop the Foothill League, undefeated, the duo of Phillips and Stewart remained intact.

Even when apart, they proved to be a component in Valencia's march to the top.

But together they make up 2008's All-SCV Doubles Team of the Year.



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