BURROUGHS HIGH — Never did one set mean so much.
Realizing his team would have a problem playing against a tough singles contingent from Burroughs High, the Villa Park boys’ tennis coach fortified his doubles teams for Friday’s CIF Southern Section Division II second-round match.
Surmising they would have a good chance at earning a singles sweep, the Indians figured they would have to win just one set in doubles to come out of the contest victorious.
That win came in the second of three rounds, as the No. 1 tandem of Phillip Lam and Kevin Hoang provided the eventual winning margin in a 10-8 win by the Indians at home.
“I just didn’t let it get in my head because if I thought about it too much it would just break me,” said Hoang about the pressure to win one set. “We just wanted to play and not think about it.”
The 6-3 win by the duo was the only doubles win in a match that was dominated by the Burroughs singles. The singles dropped only six total games against the Spartans, who captured the Century League championship.
The most dominant performance came from No. 1 singles Garrett Auproux, who swept his three sets by 6-0 scores. Calvin Fox, at No. 2, surrendered just one game, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and Michael Whelan did his job in a sweep, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.
Auproux is fresh off of winning the Pacific League singles title.
“We could see that [Villa Park] stacked their doubles,” Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said. “All we [needed] was the one win in doubles. It was kind of tough for the guys he put against our singles players, because our singles are very good.”
The win enables the Indians (11-3) — the runner-up in the Pacific League — to advance to the CIF quarterfinals for the first time since 2008. Burroughs will take on Beverly Hills in a 3 p.m. match Tuesday at Burroughs. The Normans, the runner-up from the Ocean League, defeated Valencia in a second-round match Friday, 12-6.
Friday’s win avenged a playoff loss against Villa Park in the 2009 playoffs, when Burroughs dropped an 11-7 result on the road.
The Indians have been able to thrive this season despite not having the services of senior Robert Henry. Henry, the 2010 Pacific League singles champion and All-Area player of the year, decided not to come out for the team for his final high school season.
With a strong singles lineup, Whelan said the Indians are trouble for a lot of opponents.
“We know that we have a pretty solid singles group, and we know they rely on us a lot to get our points,” he said. “But I think we have a good overall team.”