Facing a traditionally stout Cabrillo boys tennis team and some brisk conditions at Vandenberg Village, the St. Joseph Knights gained the upper hand to win 14-4 on Tuesday to help kick off the 2017-18 springs sports season.
With temperatures that dipped to 54 degrees and gusts that have often been an Achilles heel for visiting teams at CHS, the Knights withstood the elements and dominated on the doubles end.
All three doubles teams for St. Joseph won their matches against CHS. The No. 1 team of Nick Malin and Garrison Flick won two of their three contests by 6-0. The No. 2 team of Pat Rigali and Thomas Chiavacci also won two of three matches by shutout while the No. 3 option of Ben Haskell and Solomon Dule took two sets by a score of 6-1 and another 6-0.
Rigali, who is one of the returning tennis players for the Knights, said he was pleased with his team’s energy throughout the day, especially against one of the better tennis programs in the region.
“Cabrillo’s serving was very consistent across the board. We had to really work together as a team to keep getting the ball back over and fight against the wind,” Rigali said.
Added Chiavacci: “The weather is pretty similar in Santa Maria. So we do get used to practicing in that every day.”
For Cabrillo head coach David Riley, Tuesday was more viewed as a learning curve for his team.
“Absolutely, we’re just trying to figure out where we are at this season,” Riley said. “A lot of different things stood out. Our No. 3 guys Dylan Hogan and Marcus Rivera were not afraid of going against their No. 1’s and got a game out of that. It was fun to see that. It was also fun to see Brad Bleak put his heart out on the singles end. It was fun watching these guys play.”
Cabrillo managed to win four of its matches on the solo side. Returning No. 1 option Cedric Kwon won two of his contests by scores of 6-2 and 6-0. He fell in a close battle with the Knights’ No. 1 player Nick Stader 6-4. Bleak defeated the Knights’ No. 3 player Daniel Macius 6-2 while Christian Barrick – Cabrillo’s No. 3 option – defeated Macius 6-1.
The Knights, though, collected five wins on the singles side – as Stader won all three of his contests while Bryce Edenis took two of three contests by scores of 6-3 and 7-5.
St. Joseph returns home to face Lompoc on Thursday at 3 p.m. Cabrillo returns home to face Pioneer Valley at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Lompoc 93, Desert Hot Springs 83
Lompoc is coming back to Bryan Ayer Court on Friday and this time – a trip to the CIF Southern Section Division 4A title game is on the line after holding off Desert Hot Springs on Tuesday night in the desert.
The Golden Eagles managed to turn a 12-point Brave lead into a five-point deficit late in the fourth quarter. However, some crucial free throws at the line with less than 40 seconds left helped steer the Braves from losing the late lead.
"They started knocking down 3's. But we got some huge free throws from our seniors," LHS head coach Paul Terrones said by phone after the game.
Andrew Villa led Lompoc with 21 points. He was one of five Braves to reach double figures in scoring.
Ryan Morgan finished with 17 points. Both Jeffrey Ray and Jordan Tyler added 14 apiece and Benecio Cayabyab finished with 12 points. Terrones lauded Cayabyab for his shooting ability in this quarterfinal thriller.
"He came in and hit some big shots," Terrones said. "He had a late start to his season and we're so senior heavy that we hadn't gotten a chance to really depend on him. But we needed him tonight and he stepped up."
Ray, Tyler and Ruben Cortez were the trio of Braves who knocked down the white stripe baskets to help seal the road win and semifinals trip.
Lompoc will face Riverside Carnegie Schools on Friday, with the time expected to be 7 p.m.. The Wolverines, out of the Arrowhead League, defeated San Pedro Mary Star of the Sea 58-49 to clinch their spot in the semifinal round.