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Mission Viejo Starts Well but Falters at Key Times

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Midway through Mission Viejo’s Division II semifinal boys’ tennis match against Westlake Village Westlake, the Diablos’ expressions changed abruptly.

Mission Viejo was in control of three sets and should have controlled a fourth but let all four get away in a 13-5 loss Thursday at Mission Viejo.

“We didn’t close things out when we were ahead in those three matches,” Mission Viejo Coach Bill Smith said. “They played well when they needed to and we did not.”

The second round pitted Mission Viejo’s top singles player, Eric Bachelor, against Westlake’s Darren Joe, who was 39-0 going into the match.

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Bachelor had a chance to move ahead, 3-1, but double faulted three times to even the set. Both broke twice more to even the set, 4-4, and Bachelor followed with his fourth service break of the set to move ahead, 5-4.

Bachelor twice had set points, but Joe fought back to win and even the score, 5-5. Bachelor dropped the next game quickly and Joe finished the set with his fifth service break.

“It was just the shots he put together at the right time; it wasn’t a dominating forehand or something that really killed me,” Bachelor said.

On the adjacent court, Mission Viejo’s Can Akturk held a 5-2 lead over Alex Yaftali in a second-round set, but surrendered the next five games to lose, 7-5.

On the doubles court, which had moved into its third round while Bachelor and Akturk’s sets slipped away, Kareem Lorseydi and Derek Shoji also held a 5-2 lead over Westlake’s Brad Wong and Albert Kim. But Lorseydi and Shoji couldn’t hang on, losing in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-3).

The Diablos suffered another costly loss in third-round doubles when their best doubles team of Jerome Gfeller and Leandro D’Agostini lost to Westlake’s No. 3 team of Garrett Wong and Narbe Zahrabi, 6-3.

“It’s heartbreaking for the kids, but it was certainly quality tennis,” Smith said.

In another Division II match:

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Beverly Hills 9, Sunny Hills 9 (Beverly Hills wins on games, 79-73)--Raj Vyas and David Lin teamed to win two of three doubles sets for Sunny Hills (18-4).

In Division III:

San Luis Obispo 13, Santa Margarita 5--Derek Fears and Cody Shedd each won two sets in singles as Santa Margarita (15-9) was eliminated. San Luis Obispo (21-1) swept in doubles.


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