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CIF tennis: More of the same

Valencia opens playoffs by doing what it’s been doing — winning

Posted: May 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Valencia’s Tayven Townsend hits a serve against Atascadero during the CIF-SS Div. II playoffs on Wednesday at Valencia High.

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The Valencia boys tennis team didn’t lose a match during the regular season.

Nothing has changed in the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Vikings senior J.R. Macalutas edged Atascadero No. 1 singles player Devin Barber and Valencia’s doubles ran the table in a 15-3 first-round win on Wednesday at Valencia High School.

The Greyhounds entered the match as the Pac-7’s third seed and coming off an 11-7 wild-card win over West Covina on Monday.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Macalutas said of the win. “It shows that our doubles is doing really well.”

That doubles field, paced by the team of Anders Jansson and Joey Fernicola, won all nine of its sets.

Jansson and Fernicola won 6-2, 6-0 and 6-1, while the team of John Schmidt and Chris Pope squeezed out a 7-5 win over the Greyhounds’ top team of Zac Haskell and Robert Casebolt.

“I saw of a lot of people coaching and our first-serve percentage was big,” Jansson said. “When they were down, they didn’t give up on their sets.”

That was also seen when Ronit Ghosh and Jorriel Malabanan topped Atascadero’s Avery Griffin and Elias Jordan 7-5 in the day’s final round. The Vikings (20-0) recorded their other wins by comfortable margins.

“We knew this was a tough team and the team to beat,” said Greyhounds head coach Connie Baird. “We played well. ... I hope they take this for next year and go with it. It’s a learning experience.”

Next year, Atascadero (11-6) will be without seniors Devin and Kyle Barber, who were the Pac-7’s doubles champions and played Nos. 1 and 2 singles on Wednesday.

Macalutas’ first set against Devin Barber set the tone.

The two players exchanged serves, taking the score to 5-5 until Macalutas was finally able to get the break and capped off a 6-0 first round for the Vikings.

“That took the wind out of their sails,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. “They kept fighting, but that’s a tough deficit.”

The two teams also met in the first round last season with the Vikings coming out on top 14-4.

Macalutas won his other two sets 6-2 and 6-2, while teammates Tayven Townsend, Brandon Miller and Evan Tikka each won one set to make sure their team bested the Greyhounds again.

Up next, Valencia will take on the winner of the Tesoro-Beverly Hills match in the second round on Friday.

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