The wind swirled wildly and wickedly Tuesday throughout the wild card round of the CIF boys’ tennis playoffs, but Dos Pueblos High School prevailed 13-5 against the Simi Valley Pioneers.

We had four sweeps, split between singles and doubles. Jared Madison dispatched all of his opponents quickly and lost only two games. Richard Cheng had a tough second round, and led the match at 5-2 when a momentum shift occurred. His opponent was hitting the lines and corners with hard, flat balls, and soon the match was 5-5. Cheng did not relent and grinded out the win, and then quickly energized himself up for the third round.

Eric Katz and Sean Handley, our Channel League duo, like Madison, made fast work of their opponents, and lost only two games. Our Ojai pair of Jake Roberts and Caleb Franzen overcame a 0-5 deficit to pull out a win in a set tiebreaker in the second round. We could see the balls swirl all over the court.

After that set, they finished their sweep, eliminating the No. 1 Simi Valley team in commanding fashion. Some of our players were having tough times with the conditions, as well as allergies, but no one went home empty-handed. Everyone won games.

After a tired first-round loss, Peter Shao and Mason Casady stepped up quickly in the second round, but at 5-2, the momentum shifted. They fought for every game, and the opponents pushed them to a tiebreaker and took the set. In the third round, Shao and Casady were determined to take that set. They did. I am thinking about some lyrics from the 1970s song “Tinman” by America: “But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, That he didn’t, didn’t already have … So please believe in me.”

Deep down, the talent was there. The players had to believe to let that talent come out. Their coaches certainly believed in all of them.

On Wednesday, the Chargers will make the trek to play the Sea Kings of Palos Verdes, No. 2 in Division I. This win improves the Chargers’ record to 11-7. Way to go, Chargers! 

Dos Pueblos Singles

Jared Madison 3-0
Richard Cheng 3-0
Greg Steigerwald 0-3

Dos Pueblos Doubles

Eric Katz/Sean Handley
Peter Shao/Mason Casady
Jake Roberts/Caleb Franzen

Simi Valley Singles

Nathan Shirley 1-2
Guenter Newman 1-2
David Phan 1-1
Justin Cabatin 0-1

Simi Valley Doubles

Ted Liu/Nick Lee 1-2
Gautam Krish/Tommy Nguyen 1-2
Alex Pae/Andrew Yi 0-2
Shauyon Bahktminoo/Warren Nguyen 0-1

— Liz Frech coaches boys’ tennis at Dos Pueblos High School.