On Tuesday, February 27th, the Spartans traveled to Livermore to take on Granada. Granada has a really strong top of the line up. They have probably the best sophomore in the League. Theo Dean as a freshman last year almost upset Kevin Ma in the League Tournament at Crow Canyon. Kevin Ma was a Senior at Dougherty Valley and had won NCS as a Sophomore. He’s now playing for one of the top D3 teams in the Nation, Amherst College, ranked #9 in the Nation.
Their #2 player is a really talented Senior who is the only EBAL athlete I know that plays 3 sports. Soccer, Granada lost to DLS in NCS, tennis, and he swims on Fridays. Adrien Rooney is his name and he played a really close match with Danny Nomura at EBAL’s last year.
Jeffery Kubota, our Super Junior, had to play Theo Dean. Jeffery had recently played doubles with Theo. You wouldn’t have known that as Theo was relentless in hitting cross court forehands and big looping ground strokes that landed deep near the baseline on a continuous basis. Jeffery gave it his all but Theo was too tough and lost 6-2 6-0. Theo is my prediction to win the league this year.
Senior Ravin Wijesuriya had the unenviable task of taking on the multi-sport athlete, Adrien Rooney. Their coach claimed that Adrien was a little rusty having just finished soccer. He didn’t look rusty to me as he was hitting with power and running down every shot that Ravin could muster. Ravin went down 6-0, 6-0.
They have 7 courts at Granada and we started the match with 1-4 singles and 1-3 doubles. I was worried about that lineup because the Spartans sometimes struggle at doubles and I knew how tough their #1 and #2 are. However, our Spartan Doubles teams came through big time. This is the first time in quite some time that all 3 of our doubles won.
At #1 doubles we had Senior Daniel von Savoye playing with Sophomore Anthony Kindy-Baillot. They are becoming quite a team. Daniel gets to a lot of balls and Anthony has a very steady, consistent serve and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. They won 6-1, 7-5.
At #2 doubles we had Freshman JR Easley playing with Sophomore Shamal Perera. Again they are gelling as a team and both of their volleys are becoming stronger with each match. Hitting the gap in doubles is important and both JR and Shamal seems to be hitting the gap on a consistent basis. They’re starting to understand that good doubles teams attack the net and put the ball away. They won 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
At #3 doubles we had Junior Tristan Clinton and Freshman Dimitri Kindy-Baillot playing a tough match. Tennis courts are normally laid out north to south or south to north. That way the sun crosses over the court as the day goes on. At Granada they have 5 courts laid out north to south and 2 courts laid out east to west. Poor Tristan and Dimitri got stuck on one of the east to west courts and the sun was horrible. Despite that they played a good match. The finally started hitting most of their shots at the weaker player and pulled away and won 7-5, 6-3.
Rick Trapp played #3 singles and had a tough match. Rick lost the first set 6-3 and was behind in the second set. Rick started mounting a comeback and attacked the net whenever he saw the opportunity on a short ball. However his opponent was too tough and Rick lost the second set 7-5. Now the match was tied 3-3 with Ben Beernink still playing at =#4 and Kyle Haley at #5 and Ryan Sheffield at #6 still on the Court.
Ben Beernink our Super Freshman was playing a freshman from Granada. Ben was much more consistent and outlasted his opponent in the first set 6-0. Unfortunately his opponent decided he needed to get more balls in and Granada won the second set 6-2. Due to the lack of light they played a 10 point tiebreaker and Ben was able to prevail. DLS 3, Granada 4. We now needed to win both #5 and #6 singles matches which were the last two matches of the afternoon.
Kyle Haley put up a good fight in a tight first set 6-4. Kyle was forcing his opponent to hit more good shots and not giving up ‘free points’ Kyle made a great comeback in the second set. He was down 1-4 and came back to even the score at 4-4 before losing 6-4, 6-4. Granada 5, DLS 3.
Ryan Sheffield was over fighting like his life depended on it. Certainly before Kyle’s match was done he knew that both he and Kyle and to win to win the match. Shef played a great match and ended up winning 6-3, 6-4. DLS 4, Granada 5.
It was a tough match to lose but the Spartans are without their best Senior, Luke Happel who is still playing soccer. The DLS soccer team won NCS against Monte Vista and is now playing in the Nor Cal Tournament. We’ll have Luke back when we play Granada the next time and I predict that he will drive Adiren Rooney crazy with his unbelievable quickness. Hopefully the Spartan tennis team will do to Granada what the DLS Soccer team did to Granada.