first_imgIt was supposed to be the biggest week of the season for Valencia High’s boys’ tennis team. It will wind up being just another week of practice for the Vikings (8-3 overall, 3-0 Foothill League). “Here we are with no matches this week after playing three and four a week,” Valencia coach Annie Kellogg said. “Guess you (can) tell I’m a little frustrated here.” Tuesday’s match with visiting Hart (6-1, 3-0) was rained out, and the Indians weren’t able to reschedule the first-place showdown until Monday. The Vikings also had an important match against longtime rival Burbank scheduled for today, but Bulldogs coach Paul McNiff informed Kellogg that several of his players are leaving early for a spring-break field trip and would be unable to compete. Kellogg rescheduled that match for April 19, in between previously scheduled matches with Burroughs of Burbank and Saugus. “We’re pumped and ready,” Kellogg said. “Oh, well, (there) must be a reason.” Valencia had shared or won the league title outright for three consecutive years before Hart went undefeated in league last season en route to its first championship since 1987. March madness: Valencia experienced its own version of the Final Four on Saturday, defeating West Torrance and North Torrance to win the fifth annual CIF-Southern California Tennis Association First-Serve Tournament title at West Torrance High. In the semifinals against West Torrance, victories by Steven Novak/Kevin Song and Chip Myers/Michael Stewart gave Valencia two important points in doubles. Jack Zapala’s victory in singles gave the Vikings a 3-2 lead. Andrew DeGiorgio came through with an 8-6 victory at No. 3 singles in the final set to ensure Valencia advanced to the finals of the 10-team event. The Vikings, who defeated Mayfair of Lakewood, Westchester and West Torrance’s “B” team in pool play on March 18, received a singles sweep from Zapala, DeGirogio and Ryan Lassila and added two doubles victories to defeat North Torrance in the final. Novak and Song capped the match by twice rallying from three-game deficits to win 7-5. The title was Valencia’s first in a tournament this season. The Vikings finished third in their Spring Smash on March 18 after Kellogg split the squad to compete in both events. Too much Taotao: Hart senior Matthew Taotao, the defending league singles champion, continued his dominance of Foothill opponents in Thursday’s victory over Burroughs. Taotao hasn’t dropped a set to a Foothill opponent since the semifinals of the 2004 league tournament, when he lost 6-1, 6-2 to Burbank’s Haig Kassabian. Taotao has dropped only one set in match play this season, losing to Glendale’s Mike Youn in a 10-8 Hart setback March 8. Taotao won four pro-sets, including an 8-3 victory over Camarillo’s Greg Punsalan, to capture the title at Valencia’s Spring Smash. Erik Boal, (818) 713-3607 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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