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Golden Valley, West Ranch tennis teams win wild card playoff matches

Posted: May 7, 2013 10:18 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2013 10:18 p.m.


The Golden Valley Grizzlies made the most of their at-large bid into the CIF-Southern Section Division II postseason.

It was nearly as close as it could have possibly been on Tuesday afternoon at South Hills High School, but the Grizzlies prevailed in games 9-9 (81-76) over South Hills in the Division II wild-card round.

It was the first playoff appearance and victory in program history for Golden Valley boys tennis.

“I hope (the win) means we’re on the upswing and the guys will realize success is within our grasps,” said Golden Valley head coach Josh Stimac. “And we have to just put in a little more work and time in the offseason and we can start to develop as a program.”

Golden Valley (9-8) received impressive performances up and down the lineup on Tuesday, with No. 1 singles player Brandon Yu (2-6, 6-3, 6-1) and No. 2 singles player Brian Park (4-6, 6-0, 6-0) each winning two sets.

Overall, the Grizzlies won four singles sets and five doubles sets on the day.

The biggest surprise of the day came from the No. 3 doubles team of William Oh and Danh Pham. The team defeated South Hills’ No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams, 7-5 and 6-3, respectively.

The Grizzlies No. 2 doubles team of Anthony Oquindo and Justin Dulay also took two sets, 6-3, 7-5.

“The pressure wasn’t on us today, it was really on the other team,” Stimac said. “We had nothing to lose going into to day. I told them to play loose and my doubles guys played the best I’ve seen them play all year.”

Golden Valley was also playing the match without No. 3 singles player Yash Shah, who missed the game because of an Advanced Placement Art History exam, Stimac said.

He will be back today, when Golden Valley travels to take on CIF-SS Division II No. 7 La Canada in the first round.

“I’ll tell (my team) the same thing,” said Stimac on what his message will be before today’s contest. “We’ve made it. We’ve accomplished something we’ve never done in our school’s history. The pressure is on the other team.”


West Ranch 13, Oxnard 5

Playing a difficult schedule this season may have paid off for the West Ranch Wildcats boys tennis team on Tuesday.

The battle-tested Wildcats rolled past Oxnard High in the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs at Oxnard High.

After finishing third in the Foothill League after playing against top-notch teams in preleague play, West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker felt good about his team’s chances coming in.

“I thought (Oxnard) might be somewhere in between a Saugus and a Hart type of match, which is a definitely winnable but always a challenge,” Spiecker said.

Chris Gaw paced West Ranch (7-8) in singles play, winning all three of his sets 6-0, 6-4, 6-0, while fellow singles players Jonathan Y. Lee and Kevin Lin won two sets apiece.

West Ranch also won six of nine sets in doubles play as all three of its doubles teams collected two set victories.

“Obviously there’s a couple sets that we really controlled and there were a couple sets that were just some service breaks that we were able to win,” Spiecker said.

The Wildcats’ team of Nikhil Bhumralkar and Rueben Banerke won their sets 6-2, 6-4, Logan Bute and Alex Saknani won 6-1, 6-4 and Jonathan Lee and Brandon Oh won 6-0, 6-1.

West Ranch moves on to the first round, where it will play today against Rowland Heights High at 3 p.m.


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