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Foothill tennis: Vikings prep for next phase

Valencia sweeps in doubles, works on mental game

Posted: April 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Valencia doubles teammates Cameron Braun, left, and David Myers celebrate a point against Golden Valley on Thursday at Valencia High. The Vikings won the match 15-3.

The Valencia boys tennis team has been on a tear to open Foothill League play.

Even though the Vikings continued their strong play against Golden Valley, Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg stressed the importance of continued improvement afterward.

The Vikings swept in doubles, beating the Grizzlies 15-3 on Thursday at Valencia High School, and will now head into the break focusing on developing their mind-set.

"The difference between a pro and the rest of us is they don't miss the easy balls," said Kellogg, who added that she plans to assign required reading over spring break. "The rest of us do. ... We going to work on our mental game and mental toughness. It's just trying to develop the whole player."

On Thursday, all facets appeared to be working, particularly in doubles.

The doubles field comprised of Joey Fernicola, Anders Jansson, Russell Del Rosario, John Schmidt, Chris Pope, Cameron Braun and David Myers swept all nine sets for the third time in league play.

The Vikings (13-0, 4-0) dropped their lone doubles set in league play in a 17-1 win over Saugus on March 24.

"Practice. Practice makes perfect," Myers said of staying in the groove. "And getting to the net is another thing we have to do. ... We are all connected with each other. We have really great doubles. We are just confident within each other."

Myers and Braun won their sets 6-3, 6-0, 6-0, to highlight the doubles results. Pope stepped in for Jansson, who had to leave for a prior obligation, after the first round and teamed with Fernicola for 6-4 and 6-1 wins.

In singles, Valencia No. 1 J.R. Macalutas beat Golden Valley No. 1 Myles Moore 6-0 before being substituted for the remainder of the day. The move was made to give Tom Ellery an opportunity to gain experience. Ellery added on more set 6-2 and lost to Brian Park 6-1.

Myles, however, went on to earn a pair of wins for the Grizzlies (3-5, 0-4), beating Tayven Townsend 6-4 and Evan Tikka 6-2.

"While playing J.R., it was topspin that caught me off-guard," Moore said. "After I lost that one, I just regrouped and had to beat Tayven. I just helped my serve and went back and forth."

Townsend edged Moore 8-6 during the Spring Smash on March 19, and won two sets Thursday 6-1, 6-1. Tikka also won two sets 6-3, 6-0.

Up next, Valencia hosts fellow Foothill League-unbeaten West Ranch, on April 12, while Golden Valley plays Canyon in the hopes of entering the midway point of league play on a high note.

"I think that if we start playing better in the second half, we could be in the mix to play for third place," said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac.



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