Getting a first-round bye in the CIF-Southern Section Ford Boys 2018 Individual Sectionals Valencia’s Stephen Thay and Jackson Boxall headed into the second round confident of their abilities on Thursday at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center.
Winning the match in about 20 minutes, the Foothill League No. 1 doubles team swept San Dimas’ Nick Noel and Alex Agbincola: 6-0 6-0.
“We went out there and knew what we wanted to do,” Boxall said. “We didn’t want to over-complicate each shot.”
For the third-round match, Thay and Boxall drew Ian Lee and Nick Lee of La Canada. In a surprising change of events after dropping the first set to the Valencia pair, 6-2, the La Canada team retired and forfeited the second match ending their tournament and pushing Thay and Boxall through to the round of 32.
“It’s very exciting since it’s Jackson’s last year, so if we stick to the game plan and keep being aggressive I think we will like the outcome,” Thay said.
Also going through to the round of 32 is Trinity Classical Academy’s singles player Dustin Kua. Getting a first-round bye at The Jack Kramer Club, Kua met Marc Grommens in the second round and only gave up one game to win, 6-1, 6-0.
“I didn’t play amazing the first couple games,” Kua said. “I was trying to find my groove because it was my first match, but once I got my feet moving and found my shots I honed in and took the match after that.”
In the third round, Kua had similar results against Northwood’s Nicholas Wang. Not giving up any free points, Kua kept his serve going and defeated Wang: 6-0, 6-1.
“I played really well today. I missed my graduation practice so I told myself that I better play good if I was going to miss it,” Kua said.
For four West Ranch seniors, today’s matches didn’t go as planned.
The No. 1 Foothill League singles player, Parker McBride got a first-round bye at Cate School and met Nick Azrilian of Buckley in the second and defeated him easily: 6-0, 6-1.
In the third-round McBride found himself against Wally Thayne of Newbury Park. Dropping the first set 6-3, McBride rallied and took the second set 7-6 before dropping a tough tie-break, 10-4.
Also playing his matches at Cate School, Davey Woodland, the No. 2 Foothill League singles player, met a similar fate. Getting a first-round bye, Woodland battled through and won the second-round match: 6-0, 3-6, 10-4.
In the third-round matchup, Woodland played Alex Cohen and took the first set 6-2 before dropping the second, 5-7, forcing a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Cohen hit all the shots he had to and took the match 13-5.
“It was unfortunate to be playing poorly today, but both kids I played couldn’t miss and look at the result,” Woodland said.
“I’m just happy to have spent the last four years with great teammates and a great coach. Can’t believe this is the last time I’m going to be representing the Wildcats, but I’m always here to help the future players.”
The last two West Ranch seniors and No. 2 Foothill League doubles team, Aristo Turalakey and Jake Anderson got things started off on the right foot at Carpinteria High School. After a first-round bye they swept a Rio Mesa doubles team 6-0, 6-0.
They forced a third-round thriller against Harvard Westlake. Winning the first set 6-4 and dropping the second set 2-6, the pair headed into a tie-break and lost 10-5.
“The third set tie-break, was just a game of tenacity,” Turalakey said. “We tried to deal with their aggressive playing style, but it just wasn’t enough. We didn’t capitalize on opportunities and weren’t clinical enough to try and get more points and get the win like we did the first set.”
The round of 32 matches will be held at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte on Thursday, May 31 with check-in at 12:30 p.m.