It’s been awhile since I’ve reported on DLS Tennis. Slacker! We had an inspiring win yesterday so I decided to give a little summary of what we’ve been up to since I last reported about our win of Livermore High in early March.
We traveled to Clayton Valley on a rare sunny day to take on Shane Velez’s team. Shane was the Varsity coach at DLS with Lenny Lucero when the team went all the way to the NCS Finals. I would love to get a DLS team into the NCS finals and the boys are working hard. Our boys played well at Clayton and we won 8-0. We held Jeff Kubota out of the match due to an injury issue. Jeff is such a fighter that he would have played #1 singles if the match was undecided. The thing I’m most impressed with these boys is Shane’s comment in an email to me after the match.
“A couple of my boys told me after their matches that you guys showed great sportsmanship throughout and didn't mind losing because they played their best and lost to a team who was better, but didn't show or act like it.”
So rewarding to be coaching such good kids with great sportsmanship.
We headed out to Dougherty Valley to face the defending NCS Champions. They’re have the best freshman in the league who’s ranked 33rd in the Nation for freshman, Ryan Torres. That didn’t seem to bother our Super Junior Jeff Kubota who went down with a lot of fight. Jeff lost the first set 6-1 but came back in the second set and lost 6-4. Ryan definitely knows that he’ll have a match with Jeff when we face them the second time around.
Our hopes for a win came down to Ryan Sheffield at #5 singles. Ryan played a great match and lost 10-7 in a third set tiebreaker. He played with a lot of heart and so close to victory. We ended up losing the match 9-0, but then DV beats a lot of teams 9-0.
During the rainy period we were actually able to get a match in against Acalanes. They’re a good team in a good tennis league with Miramonte and Campolindo. The two highlights in that match were a win by Big Ben Beernink at #4 singles and Dimitri and Anthony Kindy-Baillot at #3 doubles. We ended up losing 7-2 but the boys put up a good fight and most of the matches could have ended up the other way.
We traveled to Foothill for a match against probably the second best team in the league. I keep trying to figure it out but Foothill beat SRV 7-2 and lost to DV 5-4. Jeff Kubota showed why he’s one of the best in the league as he beat Foothill’s #1 Kyle Thompson 6-4, 5-7, and 10-3 in a third set tie-breaker. That was the only win and the Spartans ended up losing 8-1.
We traveled to San Ramon for our second half of the season. This match was a lot closer than the first time we played SRV. We had our Super Senior, Luke Happel back from a successful soccer season and he won his first match of the year at #2 singles. Jeff Kubota lost a close one at #1 singles, After losing the first set 6-0 he came back and won the second set 7-5 and then lost in a close tiebreaker 10-7. Senior Ravin Wijesuriya had a big win at #4 singles. He lost the first set 6-1 and came back to win 6-1 6-4. Most of the matches were close and we ended up losing 7-2 but if a couple of matches had gone the other way we could have beat SRV.
Talk about a road trip, we went to Aptos on Friday for our third match of the week. Thanks to Chris Easley for providing transportation and supporting the team. Also to Hiromi Kubota, Nadine Kindy-Baillot, Gail Happel, Kurt, Laura von Savoye, and the Perera’s for rooting on the Spartans. We played a 7 line match and won 7-0. Again, their coach Rich Taylor reached out to me after the match and sent me an email and said, “Your kids were all real gentlemen and good sports. Credit to both you and them. See you soon on the courts.” Again, so proud of these boys. Hey, we weren’t done. We headed to Santa Cruz and grabbed some pizza at Woodstock’s and then headed to the G League game between the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Iowa Wolves. Then we headed back home and arrived back at DLS around 1015. Full day with lots of memories.
Yesterday we actually played a home match at St. Mary’s College although 3 of their players headed to St. Mary’s High School. I knew this match was going to be close and was hoping that we could pull off a win. Everybody was involved in close matchs. The first match that concluded was Senior Rick Trapp’s match and he ended up losing to a player that looked a lot better than their fourth best player. DLS 0 Cal 1. Then the next match off was #2 doubles and Kyle Haley and Tristan Clinton couldn’t close it out. DLS 0 Cal 2. But we were ahead in a lot of the matches so I was concerned but thought we could still pull it off.
Jeff Kubota won his first set 6-2 but was down 4-0 in the second. All of a sudden somebody said Jeff was done. Turns out that Jeff came back from 0-4 to win 6-2, 6-4. He won 6 straight games to get DLS on the board. DLS 1 Cal 2.
All of the matches were now in the third set. At #3 doubles, Freshman JR Easley and Sophomore Shamal Perera were in a tight match. The won the first set, lost the second set, and won a third set tiebreaker 7-5. DLS 2 Cal 2
Luke Happel was in the third set after winning the first set 6-3 and losing the second set 6-4. His opponent kept taking a long time at changeovers and was gone after splitting sets for what appeared to be 10 minutes. I finally had to get out a stop watch, well it was only my iPhone. Luke won the third set 6-4 and played more aggressively to close out the match. DLS 3 Cal 2. Now we only needed to win 2 more matches.
Our super Freshman Ben Beernink had won the first set and lost the second set. Ben is one of the smartest players on the team. He knows how to pick up on his opponents weakness. Unfortunately his opponent played a great third set and won the match. DLS 3 Cal 3. We still needed to win 2 of the 3 remaining matches.
Ravin was in a close 3rd set at #5 singles. He was on a two match win streak and I was doing my Steph Curry 3 sign to get him to make it 3 in a row. Just like Steph shooting a big 3 pointer, Ravin pulled out the 3rd set and all of a sudden we’ve got 2 chances to win this match. DLS 4 Cal 3.
Now we’ve got Ryan Sheffield in a close third set and #1 doubles Daniel von Savoye and Dimitri Kindy-Baillot in a close 3rd set. All we have to do is win of these two matches and we win the match. I’m pretty sure all 3 of them knew that they needed to win their match so we could beat Cal High. Daniel and Dimitri were able to close it out in the 3rd set and all of the players rushed the Court to congratulate them on winning the match. DLS 5 Cal 3.
Now all of the team was watching Ryan finish out his match at #6 singles. Shef thought he had to win and he pulled out the 3rd set not knowing that the match was the Spartans already. Great win for Shef and the Spartans 6-3.
Now we have 2 more matches this week. Today against Dublin and then on Thursday against Granada.
Hope everybody has a great Easter and the boys are out of school today and on break. Great job for our Spartans!.