LA CRESCENTA — For Sarah Wiggins, the result of Thursday afternoon’s Pacific League tennis match versus Burroughs wasn’t quite as crucial as continuing to progress her young team moving forward.
The coach of the Crescenta Valley boys’ tennis squad went with the strategic move of focusing her resources and attention on doubles play and trying new things for upcoming matches, figuring that defending Pacific League co-champion Burroughs would dominate singles play and ultimately win.
And the Indians were plenty dominant, giving up four singles games total and taking all nine sets from Crescenta Valley, which didn’t fare as well as Wiggins wanted in the 14-4 lopsided league win for visiting Burroughs.
“If we had played straight up, we might have won a few more games,” said Wiggins of her decision to put singles players in doubles. “But it was worth the risk to get some information.”
No. 1 singles player Garrett Auproux set the tone for Burroughs (2-1), sweeping his three sets against Crescenta Valley’s Jonathan Woo, Justin Kim and Arin Abrahamian.
Auproux was the league runner-up in singles a year ago and 1/3 of a trio that overwhelmed the inexperienced Falcons (0-4), who finished last year’s Pacific League season in third place.
Kim was the one Falcon to win a game facing the Indians No. 2 Calvin Fox, while No. 3 Wen Lin gave up a game apiece to Kim and Abrahamian.
“We always want to play CV tough,” Indians Coach Roy Bernhardt said. “They may not have as strong a team as in past years, but we never take them for granted.”
Crescenta Valley’s doubles teams each won a set apiece, while Tim Chong and Justin Chung won two sets. defeated Michael Whelan and Oscar Lam for the team’s only other set victory.
Philip Lam and Kevin Hoang of Burroughs, who placed fourth in last year’s league individual playoffs, swept Crescenta Valley’s Chong and Chung as well as Jeremy Cho and Chris Kim and Daniel Cha and Daniel Suh all by 6-2 scores.
The Indians lost to Arcadia, which shared the title with Burroughs a season ago, at home, which makes their road game against the Apaches a must-win if they are going to repeat as Pacific League champions.
“We’re behind the 8-ball,” said Bernhardt of the predicament.
Wiggins called the defeat at the hands of the Indians the beginning of the tipping point of the season. In her words, either the team is going to take the loss as a sign to step it up or they are going to go the other way and give up.
“Let’s figure it out,” Wiggins said. “Hopefully, we see a better team during the second half of the season.”