It may have been Davey Woodland’s second straight season as a singles player for West Ranch boys tennis, but physically, he was a different athlete.
“I had a bigger first serve, my backhand was a lot deeper, (I played) a lot more aggressive than other years and that helped me finish matches. That was very good,” Woodland said.
The difference in play earned him the same award two years in a row. Woodland is a back-to-back All-SCV Boys Tennis Singles Player of the Year.
Woodland finished 54-8 overall on the season, including prelims, and earned the Foothill League individual tournament singles title after beating teammate Parker McBride for the second year in a row. This time, he won the match 6-3, 6-2.
“In the year before, (it was) really, really, really close the entire time and I never really felt like I was able to pull away from him,” Woodland said. “I remember before the match I was thinking a lot about what I’m going to do and I remember getting the first break.”
His serve became stronger and allowed him to take control of the match.
Woodland was tested again in the postseason, first playing with the Wildcats in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
West Ranch took down Beverly Hills High in the first round, but then lost to Peninsula High of Rolling Hills Estates, a team with that continued into the Division 1 semifinals.
“It’s the best I’ve ever played in high school,” said Woodland of his competition with Peninsula. “It really kind of opened all of our eyes to, ‘Wow, these guys are really good, but at the same time how close we are to be able to compete with those guys on a regular basis.’”
Woodland has some training and tournaments to take care of this summer, but once Foothill League play begins again, the focus is on helping West Ranch win league for the fifth year in a row.
“I won it all the three years that I’ve been here,” Woodland said. “So I say, why not go for five? I don’t see why we should end that streak.”
Jake Anderson, West Ranch, junior
Anderson went a perfect 11-0 in league and 15-2 overall as part of yet another dominant West Ranch team. He also played through the side effects of his Crohn’s disease, which often meant losing energy during hot matches. He fell to McBride in the Foothill League singles semifinals.
Parker McBride, West Ranch, junior
McBride was a top singles player for West Ranch once again. For the second year in a row, he gave us a show in the Foothill League individual finals, battling with Woodland for the top spot. McBride’s season ended in the third round of the CIF-Southern Section individual sectionals.
Dustin Kua, Trinity, junior
Trinity Classical Academy might not have a tennis team, but they have one of the most impressive tennis players in the area. A freelance player, Kua made it the farthest of all players in the SCV, falling in the Round of 16 to the No. 42-ranked player in the state for the Class of 2017.