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CIF tennis: ’Cats can’t steal enough

West Ranch boys tennis get all five wins from doubles in loss

Posted: May 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch’s doubles player Ali El-Arabi, left, serves as partner Wayne Moses waits on Friday at West Ranch High.

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It sounded easy enough on paper.

Steal a few wins in singles, do most of the damage in doubles, and West Ranch boys tennis would move on in the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Against the No. 3 seed Santa Monica and its loaded singles lineup, that proved to be too tall an order for the Wildcats, who lost 13-5 in the second round on Friday at West Ranch High School.

"Our singles are good," said Wildcats head coach Eric Spiecker. "But their singles were just ridiculous."

Santa Monica (11-4) won all nine singles sets and was led by Cristobal Rivera, who didn't drop a game in the match.

Though the Wildcats (13-3) edged the Vikings 5-4 on the doubles side, Spiecker knew his team would need a better advantage in order to balance out the singles disparity.

The Ocean League champions didn't budge, using powerful and accurate serving to set up point after point.

"They just played unbelievable," said West Ranch freshman Harrison Collins, who lost his sets 6-2, 6-0, 6-2. "There's nothing else you can say about it."

The closest singles set of the day was posted by senior Baron Von Kessler, who fell 7-5 to Santa Monica's Conrad Mckurion.

Rivera beat Collins 6-0 in 15 minutes and dispatched Von Kessler 6-0 in 20 minutes.

"We play our lineup and let them do their jobs," said Santa Monica head coach Wilston Poon. "They've got to come out and play. ... We got a little lucky winning a few of those doubles sets."

Of the sets West Ranch did win, three came from the senior pairing of Brandon Lee and Ryan Yoon, who won 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to cap off their high school careers.

"I'm kind of sad that it's ending, but I had fun," Yoon said. "Even losing was fun because it showed us what we had to work on."

The two had not played together as a pair until the Foothill League finals last week.

The other two Wildcat victories came from Ali El-Arabi and Wayne Moses, who won 7-5 and 6-2 after dropping their opening set 6-1 to the Vikings' pairing of Alex Zack and Kellogg Adams.

In the end, West Ranch lost too many close sets and couldn't recover from the rout in singles play.

At the No. 2 doubles spot, West Ranch's Kirill Lipa and Evan Abbott lost a pair of closely contested sets 7-6 (7-3) and 6-4.

"You don't want the season to end because you're playing well with the seniors," Spiecker said. "You're just starting to figure things out."

Though seniors like Von Kessler, Lee and Yoon will graduate, the Wildcats do have a promising freshman in Collins, who will be the team's lone representative at the CIF-Southern Section Individual prelims next Friday.



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