Saugus Centurions boys’ tennis picked up some momentum last week before the Foothill League preliminaries this week with a road win at Canyon.
Saugus won the match, 11-7, after previously winning a 9-9 tiebreaker in its previous match with the Cowboys.
The Centurions picked up seven points in doubles, where No. 1 team Sean Pacheco and Sean Poduska and No. 3 duo of Amogh Choula and Alex Munguia swept through their matches.
Choula and Mungia took their matches 6-2, 6-0 and 6-3. The Seans were sharp throughout the day, winning their matches 6-1, 7-6 and 6-0.
“The Seans have had a phenomenal season,” said Cents coach Bailey Sindle via email. “In league play, they’ve only lost four times. They are a force to be reckoned with. Their ability to communicate and build on each other’s strengths is what makes them so commendable. If they are on, then I believe they can do amazing things.”
The two Seans were in a 6-6 deadlock with Canyon doubles standouts Sean and Jacob Cowan. However, Sean Cowan unfortunately was forced to withdraw as he was battling illness.
The Cowans won their one full match together 6-4 before Sean Cowan’s exit.
In singles, Canyon senior Carlos Abelarde was the only player to pick up three wins. The senior was pushed in each match and finished with 6-4, 6-1 and 7-5 wins.
“Carlos was feeling good yesterday,” said Cowboys coach Dennis Yong in an email. “He played aggressively and committed very few unforced errors. He was enjoying his last game of the season and felt very little pressure.”
Singles matches were marathons throughout the day, with most of the matches lasting near an hour in length. Centurions singles No. 2 Mathew Tolosa finished with 7-6 and 6-1 wins while No. 3 Tate Franti compiled 7-6 and 6-4 wins, after both dropped frames to Abelarde.
Tolosa trailed 1-5 to Canyon No. 2 Rodrigo Ginocchio but rallied to win 7-6, avenging his loss to the Cowboy from earlier this season.
“The mental capability to be down like that and then fight back is not something everyone can do,” Sindle said. “Three years ago he would have thought it was over, but having matured as a player, he knows what he is capable of and will never give up.”
Sindle was proud of her team’s efforts in singles and believes her team may be at its best just ahead of league preliminaries.
“I think today was the best tennis I have seen from the entire team all season,” Sindle said. “We played Canyon last week also and barely won. We knew that we had to step it up even more this time because games would be critical, especially in singles. Canyon has a strong singles lineup, all of which have different playing styles. Adjusting to three different styles can be tricky, but I was impressed with how aggressive and focused my singles players were.”
Both teams will head into Foothill League preliminaries on Tuesday where they’ll battle for the singles and doubles championships at the Paseo Club. Yong has seen his team improve tenfold this season and will hope they can make some noise at Paseo.
“These players have improved tremendously,” Yong said. “Their fitness level had been outstanding due to our consistent strength and conditioning routine. They have become smarter players and have learned to play high-percentage tennis without overheating. They have developed a formidable baseline game with consistent serves. I am very proud of the level they have achieved.”
The first round of prelims begins Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Paseo Club in Valencia.