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Foothill tennis: ’Cats’ early losses pay off

Led by doubles sweep, Wildcats assert standing

Posted: April 29, 2010 11:02 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2010 4:55 a.m.
The West Ranch boys tennis team closed the Foothill League season with a 16-2 victory over Saugus on Thursday at West Ranch High School.

After failing to win a match in the preseason, the Wildcats have established themselves as the No. 2 team in league.

"Earlier in the season we did a lot of experimenting with our lineup but now things seem to fit very nicely," said West Ranch junior Sabin Kim, who captured two sets alongside teammate Kirill Lipa 6-2, 6-3 in doubles play. "Given some improved consistency a lot of our guys can make serious pushes in the league tournament."

Consistency was no issue Thursday, as the Wildcats (8-6, 8-2) swept their sets in doubles.

Lipa picked up his third set with Eric Ross, while teammates Brandon Lee and Wayne Moses, and Julius Macalutas and Evan Abbott added three sets of their own, 6-0, 6-1, 7-5, and 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, respectively.

Although Saugus (6-11-1, 2-7-1) struggled in doubles, its singles lineup gave the Wildcats trouble.

"It was a relief to win anything with the wind blowing," said Saugus sophomore Chris MacDonald, who captured one set, 6-1. "On one side, I would hammer the ball and it would never go out, and I took advantage of that."

MacDonald was joined by Spencer Parks, who won his second set of the day 6-4.

West Ranch was the beneficiary of strong outings by Ali El Arabi and Baron Von Kessler, who both swept, 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 and 6-3, 6-1, 6-1, respectively.

Fellow Wildcat Darien Ramirez contributed a set, 6-2.

With West Ranch returning nearly all of its starters next season, there is a strong possibility for a Foothill League title, said Wildcats head coach Eric Spiecker.

"It's a matter of these guys going out and getting each other to hit in the offseason," Spiecker said. "We know other guys in league like (Valencia's J.R. Macalutas) are going to get their share of sets, but as a whole, we can be solid."

In the short term, however, both Saugus and West Ranch will look to make noise at the Foothill League prelims on Wednesday.


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