Hart tennis takes down Canyon 

Hart singles player Kyle Martinez returns a ball against Canyon. Justin Vigil-Zuniga / The Signal.

Hart Indians boys’ tennis brought home another win after a 13-5 road league victory at Canyon on Tuesday. 

The Indians brought in most of their points from singles, where No. 1 Anthony Lipa and No. 2 Kyle Martinez swept through their matches. 

Lipa’s big serve and slicing led him to 6-3, 6-2 and 6-1 wins. 

Hart singles player Anthony Lipa goes up for a ball against Canyon. Justin Vigil-Zuniga / The Signal.

Martinez started his day with a long 6-4 win over Canyon No. 1 Carlos Abelarde. Teammates from both sides gathered to watch the dramatic finish in just the first round of the day as Martinez pulled away in the 10th frame. 

Abelarde and Cowboys No. 2 singles Rodrigo Ginocchio each added one point for Canyon. 

On the doubles side, Sean and Jacob Cowan swept through their matches in doubles, bringing in three points for Canyon. 

The brothers have been a staple for Cowboys’ tennis, bringing in multiple points in nearly every match and competing with the top doubles teams in the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Canyon singles player Carlos Abelarde returns a serve against Hart. Justin Vigil-Zuniga / The Signal.

“Jacob and Sean played extremely well today,” said Canyon coach Dennis Yong via email. “They moved well together on the court and put a lot of pressure on the opponents. They played smart and were aggressive at the net, which contributed to their success on the court.” 

The Cowans showcased strong serving, heads-up plays from both the backline and on the net and displayed a chemistry that perhaps only two brothers could have. The Canyon duo swept their matches 6-2, 6-0 and 6-2.  

Canyon couldn’t find much more luck on the doubles side, as all three Hart doubles teams picked up a pair of wins outside of their Cowan matches. 

Hart doubles No. 1 team of Owen Rusk and Soren Stephenson battled in a long 6-4 opening match with Canyon No. 1 Michael Huang and Nick Johnny, before winning their last match 6-0. 

It was another solid win for the Indians and first-year head coach Ramsey Ramirez. The coach saw his team pull away with six points in doubles, even though every pair had little to no experience with their partner. 

“Each of our doubles’ pairs we had out there are brand new to playing with each other,” Ramirez said via email. “We had our usual doubles’ lineups before spring break, but since the break we have been experimenting with new lineups to find the most compatible partners who complement each other. They are all flexible and willing to play with one another no matter how I switch them, even though they have their preferences.” 

Ramirez is high on his varsity squad and has fit right in as the first-year head coach. 

“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to begin my time as the coach at Hart,” Ramirez said. “They are self-sufficient because there is such strong leadership through Anthony and Owen. They are all respectful and always look for ways to have fun while keeping that competitive edge. They are a diverse group from all different backgrounds and have great rapport with one another. Great vibes and great young men.” 

Yong is also in his first year with the Canyon boys team and has seen tremendous improvements within the group. 

“The team has great chemistry and is willing to give 100% each day at practice and in all their matches,” Yong said. “They support each other and communicate well with each other. The Cowan brothers have been a phenomenal team, contributing to our successful year. Rodrigo and Carlos, our co-captains, are incredible players … I’m very proud of how hard the team worked this year and how much they have improved.” 

Lipa, Martinez and the Cowan brothers will be tough outs at league preliminaries next week. Each team will have one more league match to sharpen the tools before heading to the Paseo Club in Valencia on Tuesday.  

Canyon was set to host Saugus on Thursday while Hart returned home to host Valencia.  

Canyon singles player Rodrigo Ginocchio prepares to swing against Hart. Justin Vigil-Zuniga / The Signal.

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