Trinity Classical Academy’s Dustin Kua is trying to make his last trip to the 2018 CIF-Southern Section Ford Boys Individual Tennis Sectionals more memorable than ever.
Losing in the Round of 16 last year, Kua thinks that as long as he plays his game he will make it further than in 2017.
“I’m seeded, but anything can happen,” Kua said. “As long as I play my game, I should get through. I think if I just stay on the path that I’ve been on and not take anyone lightly, I should make it to the Round of 16 or even further.”
Making it to sectionals as a “freelance” player, since Trinity does not have a tennis team, Kua’s coach (who just happens to be his father), finds tournaments throughout Southern California for him to compete in year-round, which allows him to sufficiently prepare for sectionals.
“I don’t have a season so I’ve been practicing for the past couple weeks on increasing my power on all my strokes because since I’m a senior. I think my strength will give me the edge,” Kua said.
Kua will be playing at The Jack Kramer Club in Rolling Hills with check-in at 10:30 a.m. Individuals will be competing at one of five different locations across Southern California.
Joining Kua in the sectionals are the Foothill League’s top two singles players and the top two doubles partners, all of which hail from either West Ranch or Valencia.
Representing the Wildcats will be the team’s No. 1 and No. 2 players, Parker McBride and Davey Woodland.
McBride grabbed the top spot in Foothill League play after defeating Woodland (the back-to-back defending champion) in the title game earlier this month.
“I obviously want to win the whole thing after coming up short in league and CIF,” Woodland said. “I really feel that it’s a good mindset to expect to win every match, but you have to take it point by point.”
Both players will play their match at Cate School in Carpinteria with check-in at 9:30 a.m.
Joining the two singles players will be fellow Wildcats’ and No. 2 Foothill League doubles partners, Aristo Turalakey and Jake Anderson.
Coming back from a hard loss in the league finals against the Vikings duo of Stephen Thay and Jackson Boxall, Turalakey and Anderson have been trying to regain the competitive mindset.
“In the past, I’ve relied on my play,” Turalakey said. “…But now I’m a senior and I feel like having a connection with your partner is more beneficial than just trying to fight things on your own. Trust and communication are going to be key to moving onto the next round.”
Turalakey and Anderson will play their match at Carpinteria High School in Carpinteria with check in at 9:30 a.m.
Rounding out the players that will be heading to sectionals is the Foothill League’s top-ranked doubles partners, Thay and Boxall.
Making it back for the second time after a third-round loss in last year’s sectionals, Thay thinks the duo can make it even further after repeating as Foothill League champs.
“Competing in the Foothill League is great because it allowed us to play and practice against some of the best players around, including the best doubles partners that we have played in Aristo and Jake,” Thay said.
Thay and Boxall head to Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte with check-in at 8 a.m.
“It was an amazing time playing with Stephen and winning the back-to-back titles is something I never thought we could do. It’s just a dream to finish out my Valencia career with him as my partner,” Boxall said.
The lowest-seeded eight singles players and eight doubles teams from the five sectional tournaments will advance to the Round of 32 on Thursday, May 31 at Whittier Narrows.