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Chad LeDuff, West Ranch win at Foothill tennis finals

Posted: May 8, 2014 9:52 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2014 9:52 p.m.

Valencia's Chad LeDuff hits a shot against Golden Valley's Brandon Yu during his semifinal match at The Paseo Club on Thursday.

 

When Valencia’s Chad LeDuff took his first practice serve in preparation for the final match of the Foothill League singles tournament, the fans in attendance started to chatter.

They’d all seen his serve before but that didn’t make it any less impressive.

LeDuff used that powerful serve to help propel him to a 6-4, 6-0 win over West Ranch’s Harrison Collins for his second straight Foothill League singles tournament championship on Thursday at The Paseo Club.

He started the day by avenging his only loss of the season by beating Golden Valley’s Brandon Yu 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals.

He then had to wait as Collins and Hart’s Elliot Miller battled in the other semifinal match for the opportunity to face Valencia’s dominant junior in the finals.

Collins defeated Miller 6-3, 6-2 and got one last chance to pick up his first win against LeDuff.

In their last set on May 1, Collins and LeDuff played a close set that LeDuff ended up winning 7-5.

But on Thursday, LeDuff was too strong and his serve too powerful for Collins to keep up with.

He controlled the first set, winning it 6-4 and then finished his Foothill League season with another 6-0 victory.

Even LeDuff felt like he had a little something else on his serve.
“It was just one of those on days for my serve,” he said. “Usually I don’t make that many first serves but today was a good day for serving.”

Bested once again, Collins couldn’t do much more after the match other than appreciate LeDuff’s prowess on the court.

“(Chad’s) serves sounded like a pistol being shot,” Collins said. “It’s refreshing to see until you realize you have to return it. I don’t know when we’ll play again but I always enjoyed facing him.”

In doubles action, Valencia’s Sam Rebele and Ravi Jayanthi took on West Ranch’s Chris Gaw and Noah Morrow for the doubles tournament championship.

Rebele and Jayanthi had already beaten the other Wildcats team of Jonathan Y. Lee and Brandon Oh 6-2, 6-2 to get to the finals and Gaw and Morrow defeated Hart’s Michael Lange and Luke Distad 6-3, 6-3.

The Valencia team took the first set 6-2 but Gaw and Morrow rallied, winning the next two sets by scores of 6-3 and 6-1 to take the championship.

“Noah’s used to being a singles player so that first set he was still in that mind set,” Gaw said. “So when that second set started, I told him we can’t win if we don’t work as a team and we started playing a lot better. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

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