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Vikes streak to nine

Valencia handles Saugus in boys tennis

Posted: April 3, 2009 1:14 a.m.
Updated: April 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The weather may have turned sour while Valencia boys tennis battled Saugus at home on a windy Thursday, but the Vikings extended their winning streak to nine matches with a 14-4 victory.

Valencia (9-1, 4-0) was once again led by its top two singles players as Tyler Gottshall (6-0, 6-1, 6-1) and Ben Inchalik (6-0, 6-0, 6-0) dominated their competition.

“Saugus is a team that always brings a consistent effort,” Gottshall said. “It’s the kind of team that makes you focus because they have the chance to sneak in some sets.”

The Centurions (3-7, 0-4) were paced by two set victories from its No. 3 player Alan Calderon. Saugus also won a pair of doubles matches with the team of Chris Poursayadi and Henry Ngo taking a set 6-4 and the Cents’ No. 1 pair of Austin Jones and Kevin Okimoto scoring a 6-3 victory.

“This was a very talented team we were up against today,” said Saugus head coach Allan Hardbarger. “I was pleased with how our team competed. Our doubles team is starting to come together. Even though the scores may not reflect it, I think we are competing at a higher level.”

Both teams will now have more than a week off before their next match. For Saugus, it’s a time to regroup from a rough first four matches in Foothill League play, while Valencia hopes to maintain its momentum through the intermission.

“Our guys are planning to keep playing to stay sharp, but we also want to give them a chance to enjoy the break and spend it with their families,” said Valencia head coach Annie Kellogg. “I always try to let my teams have some time to relax, and it hasn’t bitten me so far.”

Hardbarger looks at the break as an opportunity to set his roster, while allowing his seniors the chance to step up before league play starts back up.

“The thing that you have to respect about Saugus is that they maintain a very positive attitude,” Kellogg said. “They only took one less set against us than West Ranch did when we played them so you can tell this is a team that is coming along.”

Continuing to come along is Valencia’s top doubles team of Ronny Kimelman and Anders Jansson. The duo won its two sets 6-1, 6-0 before Kellogg made the choice to substitute for them to give another of her doubles team the opportunity to get on the court.

“You can tell the results of all the hours we’ve put in practicing,” Kimelman said. “We have a great coach, who knows what she’s doing, and we have faith in her and our group as a whole.”


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