Sage is perfect in league

Lightning cap undefeated Academy League season, earning first outright league title in its history.

April 27, 2011|By Matt Szabo,

SAN CLEMENTE — The St. Margaret's boys' tennis team stacked its doubles lineup Wednesday afternoon.

Sage Hill shrugged it off. The Lightning are just stacked.

The Academy League match at Rancho San Clemente Tennis and Fitness Club was probably closer than the 12-6 final score would indicate, but Sage Hill will definitely take the win over its rival.

It finishes off a perfect league season for Sage Hill (16-5, 10-0 in league), which won the second league title — and first outright crown — in program history.


"I think [stacking doubles] was a more effective lineup to get close to us," Lightning senior Andrew Kurzweil said. "But I think we're a really strong team this year. We have a good chance to go all the way … I'm really sad that the run's over, that I don't have any more Academy League matches. At least we went out on top. We couldn't have had a better season, and it's not over yet."

Everyone contributed for the Lightning, who won eight of nine singles sets. Junior Robbe Simon and Kurzweil swept in the top two spots, and junior Denis Cirit won two of his three sets.

Each doubles team also won at least one set, and the No. 1 team of senior Kevin Marshack and junior Alex Manolakas won twice. It was a 7-5 victory by the No. 3 team of Nasier Emtiaz and Ryan Lee that gave the Lightning a 4-2 sets lead after the first round. After Kurzweil outlasted Michael Friedman of St. Margaret's, 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreaker) in the second round, the Lightning had a 7-5 sets advantage.

St. Margaret's (16-5, 5-3 in league) played Friedman at No. 3 singles, though he's really the Tartans' top singles player. He staved off six match points against Kurzweil serving at 4-5, eventually forcing the tiebreaker. But Kurzweil stormed back from a 6-3 deficit in the 'breaker, winning the last five points.

Simon's mother, Roxane, watched a bit impatiently. Her son still had to play Friedman in the third round and the Simons, along with the doubles team of Kurzweil and Manolakas, still had to travel to Ojai after the match for the CIF portion of the 111th annual Ojai Valley Tournament.

Robbe eased his mother's mind, making the last set quick. The score was the same as the first two, 6-0. He said it was his first "triple-bagel" since he's been at Sage Hill.

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