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Foothill tennis: Make it eight

Vikings lock up eighth league title in nine years

Posted: April 27, 2010 9:55 p.m.
Updated: April 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Tayven Townsend, left, returns a shot as teammate Dalton Ullman, right, watches during their doubles match against Canyon on Tuesday at Valencia High School. The Vikings won 17-1 to secure their eighth straight Foothill League championship.

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Valencia boys tennis continued its dominant run through Foothill League play Tuesday, clinching its eighth league title in nine years with a 17-1 victory over Canyon at Valencia High School on Tuesday.

Valencia (16-3, 9-0) has established itself as a powerhouse in the Santa Clarita Valley, and given the expectations that the team sets for itself every year, winning matches in the postseason was almost a focus before Foothill League play even began.

"Ever since we beat West Ranch in the first league match of the year, we have been anxious to get through the season and try our luck in playoffs," said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. "Our guys are flat-out motivated. If we were allowed to, we would have scheduled more matches."

As has been the case for the entire season, Valencia's singles lineup was rock solid.

Top singles player Tyler Gottshall claimed his three sets 6-3, 6-0, 6-1, and fellow Viking J.R. Macalutas swept his three sets 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.

Macalutas exacted revenge on Canyon's all-league standout Jason Ferlianto, who had beaten him earlier in the year. Kellogg said Macalutas has gone from becoming an afterthought to a potential favorite to claim the league title.

"Guys like me and Tyler hit on the weekends and practice a lot outside of school," said teammate Ben Inchalik. "But J.R. just has so much natural talent that he gets better without even trying."

Inchalik was no slouch himself, sweeping his three sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.

As for Canyon (10-5, 5-4), the inability of the singles lineup of Ferlianto, Matt Kincaid and Kevin Snovicky to win a set was compounded by the lackluster performance of its doubles teams.

"I'm trying to push the guys in practice a lot more," said Canyon head coach Kent Ganevsky. "I have brought up some of our outstanding JV doubles teams and had them practice with the guys to try and motivate them and get them going."

Although the Cowboys have struggled in doubles all year, Harry Lee and Corey Yamaoka took the only set of the match for Canyon, 7-5.

Valencia's doubles teams of Daniel Bingham and Daniel Bogan and John Schmidt and Sam Yun both swept, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0, and 6-1, 6-1. Helping Schmidt complete the sweep was Anders Jansson.

Yun and Schmidt captured two sets 6-1, 6-1, with Jansson assisting Schmidt in winning another 6-1.

Fellow Vikings Dalton Ullman and Tayven Townsend grabbed two sets 6-3, 6-2.

The Vikings close out their season against Golden Valley on Thursday.

As for Canyon, a win against Saugus today would secure a third-place finish in league.


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