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Crescenta Valley tennis turns tables on West Torrance in playoffs

LA CRESCENTA — It was a matter of deja vu for the Crescenta Valley High boys' tennis when the playoff brackets were released on Monday.

The Falcons were shouldered with the task of taking on West Torrance on Wednesday afternoon to open the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs.

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With the matchup came bad memories for the Falcons, who lost by 10 sets to the Warriors in the first round of the 2017 playoffs.

However, once the action began it was apparent that this year's teams were drastically different than last season's.

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The host Falcons won eight of nine singles sets to turn the tables on the Warriors, defeating them by the exact 14-4 score they had lost by last year.

"We definitely had the fear that we have to play the same exact team that just destroyed us in the playoffs last year," Crescenta Valley No. 1 singles player Kevin Rowe said. "We just couldn't believe that we had to play the same team.

"Our coach told us that they might be a different team than they were last year, but still you had the feeling of how different could they really be? So we figured it was definitely going to be hard and I just wanted to try my best and help the team."

Crescenta Valley (16-3), which finished runner-up to Arcadia in the Pacific League, began with a flourish against West Torrance (11-9), the No. 2 team from the Pioneer League, jumping out to 5-1 lead after the first round of sets. The Falcons secured the win in the second round when they took a 10-2 advantage.

Rowe, who advanced to the Pacific League Tournament singles semifinals and finished third, led a strong singles showing, winning his three sets, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3. Also sweeping from his No. 3 spot was Carlos Vicencio, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, while Erik Babayan won the two sets he played, 6-0, 7-5.

Pacing the doubles was the team of Justin Kim and Maclean Lunt, who swept, 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

"I think a lot of their seniors graduated because I didn't see a lot of the same players today that they had last year," said Kim, who advanced to the league semifinals with Lunt. "Some of their dominant doubles players from that team weren't here today.

"Today they were making a lot of mistakes and we were just capitalizing on that."

In doubles, Darren Kim teamed up with Edward Ahn to win, 7-6 (7-5) and Ahn was joined by Augustine Jun and they won, 6-2. Adi Saravanan and Patrick Chmielewski took one, 6-3.

Crescenta Valley moves on to Friday's second round where it will face Martin Luther King or Temecula Valley at a site to be determined.

Twitter: @jefftsports

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