After advancing to the Southern Section 3-A championship tennis match, Sunny Hills High School tennis Coach Steve White summed up the mood of the Lancers.
“This is great, this has been our dream for four years,” White said after Sunny Hills defeated Laguna Beach, 10-8, last Thursday.
One last step remains before the Lancers can cap their season, however. Sunny Hills faces Woodbridge in the 3-A final at 3:15 p.m. today at the Sunny Hills Racquet Club in Fullerton.
Third-seeded Sunny Hills has a 22-1 record. The Lancers’ only loss was to Newport Harbor. Top-seeded Woodbridge is 19-4.
White had to plan--and the players had to perform--a masterpiece of strategy to defeat Laguna Beach, which boasted one of the top singles lineups in the Southern Section but a doubles lineup that was less imposing. In high school tennis, a player can play in either singles or doubles competition during a match, but not both. Against Laguna Beach, the Lancers threw their strength into doubles.
This time around, the Lancers face a more solid all-around team. Woodbridge is as strong in singles as it is in doubles.
Randy Ivey, the Warriors’ No. 1 player, looks like a linebacker, but seems to get to almost every shot and hits winner after winner. You can’t tell by his expression whether he’s winning or losing. Usually, he’s winning.
Ivey advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Section singles tournament on Saturday.
Alex Steinhardt plays at No. 2 singles and Chris Emery plays at No. 3.
Terry Wang and Eric Berg team to play at No. 1 doubles. Rajan Saggar and Brett Isaacman are the No. 2 doubles team and Victor Ro and Darren Isaacman are No. 3.
Sunny Hills has a flexible lineup.
Glenn Henderson, a four-year varsity player, is at No. 1 singles. Hans Erkelens, a foreign-exchange student from Holland, usually plays at No. 2 singles, but played No. 3 doubles against Laguna Beach. Ryan Henderson, Glenn’s younger brother, is at No. 3 singles.
Andrew Duncan and Jason Klingsberg are the Lancers’ No. 1 doubles team. Klingsberg is also an All-Southern Section water polo player.
James Choi and Brad Bosari are the No. 2 doubles team and Sameer Gavanker and Nathan Winn are at No. 3.