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Royals Leap Past Toads in Tennis

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Thacher no match for San Marcos in Royals' 16-2 rout.

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San Marcos’ boys’ tennis team inched one game closer to the .500 mark with a 16-2 nonleague road victory at Thacher. The Royals swept all doubles sets convincingly, while Zack Scott swept at one singles with scores of 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 for San Marcos. The loss was the first of the young year for Thacher, its first match.

San Marcos (4-5, 1-2 in Channel League) took control early, sweeping the first round, 6-0, behind consistent baseline play in singles and strong serves and returns in doubles. The first-round sweep was the Royals’ first of the year and marked the first time a San Marcos squad had swept a first round since two seasons ago against Buena.

San Marcos’ three-doubles tandem of senior Alex Clark and freshman Travis Enholm recorded its first sweep of the season with set scores of 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Clark and Enholm improved to 8-4 on the young season and the pair has improved its net and return games while working to get a higher percentage of first serves in. That approach paid dividends Friday as they never trailed in any of their sets.

The newly formed two-doubles duo of Spencer Funk and Scott Messier also recorded a hat trick after coming back from a 1-5 deficit to post a 7-6 (7-5) win against the Toads’ No. 1 doubles team of Sean O’Brien and Andrew Pollett.

“It was nice having Scott on the court with me, encouraging me and helping take the pressure off. It helped me relax and play my game,” Funk said after the match.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect playing doubles for the first time but we played well. Scott’s really consistent and even when I made mistakes he helped erase them.”

The Royals’ No. 1 doubles team of Kenneth Hasegawa and Brian Pearson leapfrogged through its first two sets, 6-3, 6-2, behind stellar serving and aggressive volleying. The wins ran their record on the year to an impressive 23-3.

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“It helps to play with one of my best friends and we’re trying to lead the team by example," Hasegawa said. "We both have really good serves and we play in the I-formation and try to finish off a lot of easy points. Because we have a great net game, we put a lot of pressure on other team’s returns and ground-strokes.”

Hasegawa-Pearson gave way in the third round to freshmen Nik Kilpelainen and Garrett Timmons. The pair recorded its first win of the season, 6-2, over the Toads’ No. 3 tandem of Connor Church and Ethan Nonomura.

The Royals’ 9-0 domination in doubles on the afternoon runs their record to 57-24 in doubles sets thus far this season, an imposing 70 percent clip.

The lone bright spot for Thacher was the play of sophomore McCoy Becker, who went 2-1 on the day by coming from behind to beat a feisty Sean-Michael Gaudefroy in a tie-break, 7-6 (7-4).

Playing singles for the first time, Gaudefroy won his first set in a duel with Thacher’s No. 2 singles player, Will Obendorf 7-6 (13-11). Both players refused to lose until Gaudefroy finally sealed the set with a volley winner. Guadefroy went on to defeat the Toads’ No. 3 singles player, 6-0.

Jon Fernandez also defeated Oberdorf in a tie-break in the last set of the day, 7-6 (7-5), on an overhead after a nice backhand volley. Fernandez finished the day 2-1 after winning his opening set, 6-1.

The Royals have a two-week break until they return to action on the road at league rival Buena on April 8.

Jarrod Bradley coaches boys’ tennis at San Marcos High.

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