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Vikes double up in round 1

Posted: May 8, 2013 9:50 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2013 9:50 p.m.

Valencia's Joseph Hwang returns the ball during a doubles match against Rio Mesa on Wednesday at Valencia high School. Valencia won 14-4. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea.

Valencia boys tennis head coach Annie Kellogg summed it up best by quoting the opposing coach.

“Singles players get all the glory,” Kellogg paraphrased. “But doubles gets it done.”

Anchored by a sweep in doubles play, the Valencia Vikings beat Rio Mesa High of Oxnard 14-4 on Wednesday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs at Valencia High School.

The Vikings (16-3) proved to be far superior across the board, allowing them to substitute for some of their singles players who are battling illness.

“We’re a No. 1 team (out of the Foothill League),” Kellogg said. “I would hope we wouldn’t struggle in the first round.”

Valencia’s Nos. 1 and 2 doubles teams won their six sets easily, losing a combined four games along the way.

In the No. 1 spot, Chris Pope and Cameron Braun won 6-0, 6-2, 6-0 while David Myers and Same Rebele won 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 as the No. 2 pairing.

“We were closing the net a lot, making our first serve,” Myers said. “At least, we weren’t double faulting. The first serve is huge.”

Rounding out the doubles play for Valencia was the No. 3 team of Kevin Saginian and Joseph Hwang, who won their three sets including a narrow 7-5 win over Rio Mesa’s No. 1 pairing of Will Czubiak and Julian Chow.

“They dominated. There was no doubt about who was a better team, and it was a pleasure to play with them,” said Rio Mesa head coach Steve Worthington, whose team finished second in the Pacific View League.

Now, Valencia will take its deep doubles lineup to the second round on Friday, when it will face the winner of the Windward-Temple City match.

The Vikings are trying to move past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

“We need to be on top of our game. We need to be extremely focused,” Rebele said of what it will take to win Friday.

Valencia will also need some help on the singles side, which collected five set victories on Wednesday.

Playing as Valencia’s No. 1, Chad LeDuff won both of his sets 6-0, 6-0 before being subbed out for his final set.LeDuff is fighting off a minor illness, Kellogg said.

Joey Fernicola also won two sets, 6-4, 6-3, for the Vikings.

“(Rio Mesa’s) 1 and 2 singles were strong players and their doubles were good,” Kellogg said. “But we just had some really good depth to take care of it.”


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