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CIF tennis: Slow start costs Cents

Early mistakes lead to lopsided loss in first round

Posted: May 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

It started with a few mishaps at the beginning.

Then it snowballed into a lopsided affair for Saugus boys tennis.

The Centurions couldn’t recover from a rough start in their CIF-Southern Section Division II first-round match and lost 16-2 to Esperanza High of Anaheim on Wednesday at Esperanza High School.

Once the Aztecs took the upper hand, they pounced on Saugus (8-11 overall) with its top-to-bottom talent.

“They didn’t have really big weaknesses,” said Saugus head coach Allan Hardbarger of the opponent. “We probably could have gotten a few more sets, but we lost a few close ones, their confidence built up and they kind of ran away from us.”

Saugus’ No. 1 doubles team of Grant Vaziri and Josh Hill was one of the losses in the first round, losing 6-2 to the Aztecs team of Cyrus Modarres and Ryan Peterman.

Vaziri and Hill fell behind 5-0 early in the set, battled back, and fell short.

Modarres and Peterman ended up sweeping for Esperanza (17-2), as did the team’s talented No. 1 singles player Pinoe Chu.

“They were solid all the way through their lineup,” Hardbarger said. “Everyone could hit big forehands and our guys tried to neutralize that by coming up to net.”

Tristin Thierry picked up one of Saugus' victories on the day, winning 6-4 in a later set.

Chris Poursayadi also won a singles set 6-4 to earn Saugus’ only other win on the day.

Saugus had to win three of its last four Foothill League matches to sneak into the playoffs after a tie for third place in league.

It was the second straight playoff appearance for the Centurions after last year when they made their first trip to the CIF postseason since 1996.

“Overall, this season was a success,” Hardbarger said. “Our goal at beginning of season was to get back to playoffs. Last year, we made it for the first time in 15 years, but this year we lost some key players.”

Saugus will again lose some key players, with six of nine starters scheduled to graduate this year.

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