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Dominik Stefanov, Alexi Gill Power San Marcos to Share of Channel League Tennis Title

San Marcos tennis star Dominik Stefanov Click to view larger
Dominik Stefanov puts a little finesse on a shot during his win over Santa Barbara’s Nova Ostevany. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Dominik Stefanov continued his hot play, losing only two games in three singles sets to power the undefeated San Marcos boys tennis team to a 12-6 win at Santa Barbara High.

The Royals (5-0 in league and 9-0 overall) clinched a tie for their second straight Channel League title.

While Stefanov and Alexi Gill dominated in singles, the rest of the matches were tight.

"Santa Barbara played great today," San Marcos coach Jarrod Bradley said. "Four of our sets were determined by tiebreaks and their players didn't let up. I'm excited for our guys to pull out the win and clinch at least a tie for the league title. We've put in a lot of hard work this year and it paid off this week."

For Stefanov, the three set victories gave a perfect 9-0 record for the week.

 "Dom had an incredible week, going 9-0 and helping us beat undefeated Ventura," Bradley said. "Alexi has won critical sets for us and continues to hit huge forehands and first serves. We're going to need these two guys at their best next week and in the playoffs."

In doubles, Bryan Shott and Alex Stefanov avenged an earlier loss to Santa Barbara's No. 1 tandem of Taylor Kleine and Mason Lender by winning 7-6 (3). They improve to 21-6 on the season.

"Alex and Bryan broke at 4-5 down to force a tie-breaker. They were relaxed, serving and returning at an incredibly high level to win. It was a big set for them and our team," said Bradley.

Santa Barbara lost two doubles sets in tiebreakers in the second round of sets.

"Second-round doubles proved to be the best competition of the day," Santa Barbara coach Danny Echt said. "We captured one point at No. 3 dubs, but came up just shy at No. 1 and No. 2 teams."

Echt noted that the Dons' No. 3 team of Forrest Dempsey and Aedan Garnand "showed excellent focus and grit" coming back from down 3-4 against the Royals' No. 3 of Ivor Bjork and Alex Wilson to win three straight games and win their first Channel League match together.

"It was great to see Forrest and Aedan break through today," Echt said. "Dempsey's laser-like forehands were complemented by Garnand's touch volleys."

San Marcos 12
Singles

Dominik Stefanov 3-0
Alexi Gill 3-0
Daniel Newton 1-2

Doubles

Bryan Shott-Alex Stefanov 3-0
Sam Friedman-Jimmy Wimbish 2-1
Ivar Bjork-Alex Wilson 0-2
Noah Dusette-Timmy Hirsch 0-1

Santa Barbara 6
Singles

Noah Ostevany 1-2
Nico Zanasi 1-2
Lucas Pollero 0-3

Doubles

Forrest Dempsey-Aidan Garnand 1-2
Taylor Kleine-Mason Lender 2-1
Max Mendoza-Warren Firestone 1-2

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