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Now playing: an all-Vikings 'smash'

Posted: March 23, 2008 2:56 a.m.
Updated: May 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Valencia's Jack Zapala hits a forehand shot against temmate Tyler Gottshall in the championship match of the Spring Smash tournament held at Valencia High on Satuday. Zapala went on to defeat Gottshall 8-3 to win the tournament.

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It was a showdown of Valencia's best singles players as Jack Zapala and Tyler Gottshall faced off in the championship match of the Spring Smash held at Valencia High School on Saturday.

Zapala went on to win the final set 8-3 and finished the tournament in first place.

The Spring Smash tennis tournament is held annually at Valencia High School and showcases some of the top singles players and doubles teams in the Foothill League as well as various schools throughout Southern California.

This year's tournament included every Foothill League school except Golden Valley and also featured Adolf Camarillo High School and Granada Hills High School.

Gottshall, seeded No. 4 in the tournament, beat the No.1 seed Connor Karen of Camarillo to advance to the finals to face Zapala.

"My serve was really on against him (Karen)," Gottshall said. I was able to volley well too."

This is the second time in two years that Gottshall and Karen have dueled it out, with Karen winning the first time they faced off.

Gottshall knew that in order to beat Karen this time around he needed to focus on being equable with his serve and volley.

"The last time we played, I was only halfway consistent with my serve and volley and Connor beat me," he said.

Gottshall's friend and teammate Zapala came into the tournament seeded No. 2. and was excited to see that he and Gottshall had reached the finals together.

"It's fun to have an all Valencia final," Zapala said.

This is Zapala's fourth year at the Spring Smash and he says that it feels good to compete with the league's best.

"We gave it our all out there and we took it seriously but it was also just a good time," he said.

Both players said that this event puts even more pressure on them than in regular league play.

"I had about 100 people lined up to watch my first set," Zapala said.

While Valencia took care of business on the singles side, the duo of Jason Oh and Patrick Fuertes of West Ranch took care of business on the doubles side.

Oh and Fuertes came into the tournament unseeded and went on to place second behind the doubles team out of Camarillo, Joey Elkins and Vinh Ly.

Down 6-2 early in the set, Oh and Fuertes fought back to hold serve twice and break serve twice, tying the score at 6-6.

"We concentrated on playing one game at a time and one break at a time," Fuertes said.

Oh and Fuertes were unable to hold off Ly and Elkins, eventually losing the set 8-6.

This is the first year that Fuertes and Oh have played together and are looking forward to continuing on as one of the strongest doubles teams for West Ranch.

"We had a lot of good chemistry out here today and we want to continue to make our chemistry stronger," Fuertes said.


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