La Cañada High boys' tennis rolls to win at Troy

FULLERTON — It’s on to the second round for the La Cañada High boys’ tennis team.

When that is exactly, is still up for negotiation.

The Spartans earned further postseason advancement with a somewhat stunning 12-6 upset victory at Freeway League champion Troy in Wednesday afternoon’s first round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs.

“The score is surprising because Troy has a strong history,” Spartans Coach Will Moravec said. “I just think we wanted it more and played like that.”

With the victory, the Rio Hondo League runner-up Spartans (11-5) are slated to host second-seeded Palm Desert (17-0) on Friday. Palm Desert eliminated La Cañada last season in the quarterfinals en route to finishing runner-up in the division.

Moravec and athletic director Craig Franzen, however, were in the process of attempting to change the match date to Saturday because of a scheduled school senior trip Friday that would cost the Spartans three starters.

An official date and time for the second round match had not been established at time of publication.

Extra-circular activities were also a focal point for both teams Wednesday, as the Spartans were missing three players due to advanced-placement testing and Troy (13-6) was short-handed three athletes, who missed sets.

Even so, the Spartans still rolled to a victory clinched early in the third round when freshman singles player Lucas Chmielewski, La Cañada’s No. 2 player, defeated Troy’s top-seeded Anthony Choi, 6-0.

Chmielewski’s play was part of a larger dominant effort by the Spartans singles’ squad of No. 1 Ryan Lee, Chmielewski and reserve Robert O’Brien, who filled in for normal No. 3 Chris Madsen.

The singles squad finished 8-1 with Lee notching 6-0, 6-0, 6-2 wins and O’Brien delivering 6-2, 6-2 victories before falling to Troy’s Victor Vo, 6-3.

“I’m very proud of the singles efforts,” Lee said. “I’ve been impressed with the way Lucas has progressed and grown this season and Robert stepped up despite being injured.”

As for his own play?

“I thought I did well even though I had been struggling as of late,” Lee added.

La Cañada was forced to shuffle its lineup as No. 3 doubles player Woo Jin Jong missed Wednesday’s match because of testing.

Jong normally paired with Chris Walch, who instead joined up with Madsen at No. 3 doubles.

The pair of Madsen and Walch performed admirably, recovering from a 6-3 setback to the Troy No. 1 squad of Enoch Peng and Brandon Nguyen to deliver 6-0 and 6-4 wins.

“It wasn’t that big of a change for me or this team,” Madsen said. “We have a lot of guys on this team with experience playing singles and doubles, so it wasn’t a big deal. I guess my experience was OK.”

La Cañada’s No. 1 doubles squad of Pat Finnigan and Nick Malone also delivered a 6-2 win, while the Spartans’ No. 2 pair of Jeff Lee and Griffin Van Amringe also notched a 6-3 win.


Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.

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