Last year, for the first time in five years, the Dos Pueblos High School boys’ tennis team edged the Lancers of Thousand Oaks High School in a very close contest. Both teams were without all of their starters.
On Friday, the Lancers had all of their experienced starters in singles. We had our singles’ players, but two are newbies. In doubles, we were without starter Alex Yang, who was sick. Bravely stepping into his shoes was Andrew Tufenkian, who partnered with Greg Steigerwald.
The Chargers came away with a 12-6 win, improving to 3-0.
As the match unfolded under windy conditions, the Chargers — fired up and focused — took charge of the match by snagging eight of nine sets in doubles. Jake Roberts and Caleb Franzen, along with Mason Casady and Sam Boulanger swept in commanding fashion. In addition, Tufenkian and Steigerwald took two solid sets.
The magic and surprise came in singles. Last year, we hardly got any games from Lancers players Daniel Minami (three-star recruit) and Greg Wise (two-star recruit). This time, all of our singles took more than just games — they took sets.
Sean Handley led by taking two sets, one from Chris Lees (three-star recruit) and one from Daniel Minami. Patrick Corpuz and Joshua Wang each took a set from Minami as well. Wang suffered from cramps in that first set against Minami. He hobbled around the court and had to dig deep to pull out the tiebreaker, 7-4.
Like last year, this battle lasted for well more than three hours, where doubles finished more than an hour earlier than singles. This match was truly inspirational!
Way to go, Chargers! Next up is yet another road trip, this time to Calabasas on March 14.
— Liz Frech coaches boys’ tennis at Dos Pueblos High School.