Kennedy Advances to City Doubles Final
The Kennedy High front court is going center court.
Josh Etting and Che Naveja, forwards on the Kennedy basketball team, defeated top-seeded Ardy Ghaffari and Jon Faller of Palisades, 6-3, 6-1, Monday to advance to the doubles semifinals of the City Section Individual Tennis Championships at the Racquet Centre in Universal City.
Etting and Naveja will play University’s Lucas Goldstein and Sung Kim, 7-5, 6-2 victors over Cleveland twins Nam and Long Nguyen, in the doubles championships at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Racquet Centre.
“Their athleticism on the court is obvious. With their ability to get up in the air and their reach, it’s hard to lob over these guys,” Kennedy Coach Craig Raub said of Etting and Naveja.
Another factor that might have contributed to the outcome was that Etting and Naveja have played together all season; Ghaffari is Palisades No. 3 singles player and was converted to a doubles player for the playoffs.
Seeded fifth in the tournament, the Kennedy team was clearly the most boisterous tandem, frequently shouting words of encouragement and pumping their fists in the air. Ghaffari and Faller were far more subdued. “That vocal stuff is for us,” Naveja explained. “It’s not meant to intimidate. We just try to beat them with our tennis.”
The Nguyen twins struggled with consistency. After trailing, 2-0 and 3-1, in the first set, Cleveland took a 4-3 advantage, then faltered.