Boys tennis tops Foothill in CIF semifinal match
by Andrew Alonzo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Strong play from freshman David “DJ” Brownlee and Junior Brodrick Bohren set the stage for a decisive victory as the Pack defeated visiting Foothill High School, 13-5, in the CIF Southern Section semifinal match on Wednesday in Claremont.
Aside from the courts being blasted by the afternoon heat, the games on display were tight and down to the wire, and Claremont came away with sweeping victories in both the individual and doubles matches.
Brownlee swept his opponents 6-1, 7-6 and 6-4, while Bohren swept 6-2, 6-1 and 7-6. Both boys added six points to CHS total.
The doubles team of freshman Caleb Settles and senior Joseph Anagnos earned the Wolfpack another three points with their strong outing against multiple FHS opponents, winning their sets 6-3, 6-0 and 6-4. The doubles team of sophomore Lance Lao and senior Lucas Rival also swept their set after winning the third game against FHS’s Ai Tan La and Solomon Brown, 6-2.
Wednesday’s victory means the CHS boys tennis team will compete in the CIF finals on Friday against Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes defeated Loyola 10-8 after 18 sets on Wednesday.
To reach the semifinal matchup, the boys defeated Northwood, 13-5, in the quarterfinal rounds of the CIF playoffs and dominated Sage Hill at home, 15-3, in the second round. As a third-seeded team with the Palomares league title, the Pack got a first round bye.
In the days leading up to CIF, Coach Kathy Settles explained that she enlisted the aid of some of her former players to help get the teams ready for playoffs.
“Jason Weisman, who plays now at Babson College, he came out and talked to the team about what his team does to prepare for big matches,” she said. “His team has played in NCAA [tournaments] and conference finals…they’ve played in a lot of pressure situations. And so I thought it would be really helpful for him to talk about how you get over the nerves.”
By May 7, both the boys and girls tennis teams ended their regular season campaigns as Palomares League Champions, and secured individual players and team spots for their respective CIF Southern Section tournaments.
Girls make it to second round in CIF
Though the girls tennis team fell short in the second round of the CIF Southern Section tournament against Martin Luther King High School, 13-5, it is important to keep in mind that this was the girls’ first year in a Division 1 postseason play after snagging the runner up title in the 2019 CIF finals.
“I was thrilled the girls were able to win at least one round in that higher division,” Coach Settles said.
“We got a tough team from Orange County, which is always risky since some of those leagues in Orange County have two or three teams…that are in the Division 1 category or in the open division,” she added. “We pulled a number four [seeded] team in a league that was just like that. So our team played great to be able to pull off that win,” she said.
The girls team played their first round of CIF at home on May 12 against Portola and the team snuck away with a 10-8 victory after 18 sets.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Our league did not really prepare us for tougher competition because it was not that strong, with the exception of some players here or there,” Coach Settles said.
The individual CIF tennis tournaments are scheduled to begin in June following the conclusion of the team tournament.