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Top Spartan tandem advances

Mirjam Swanson

TEMPLE CITY -- When the day began, there was the potential, however

slim, that five La Canada High boys’ tennis players could earn berths to

the CIF Southern Section Division V individual championships.

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When play ended at the Rio Hondo League tournament Tuesday, a day that

turned out to be overcast and breezy, only two of them -- brothers John

and Dan Son -- were going. And that was after suffering a definite 6-0,

6-1 defeat at the hands of the league champs Warren Min and Eugene Tzeng,

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who played loose and well enough all day to disrupt the Spartans’ doubles

title hopes.

In addition to singles player Robin Kim, all three of La Canada’s

doubles teams qualified for day No. 2 of the league tournament, an

accomplishment in itself considering the pair of upsets that the unseeded

duo of Kunal Gogna and Robert Kerchof pulled off to do it.

So the Spartans were assured a tandem in the final -- and also that

they would have to knock out their own.

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And it wasn’t easy. Kerchof and Gogna started the afternoon by

stealing the first game from the Son duo, 7-6, before dropping the next

two sets, 6-2, 10-4.

On the other set of courts, Edward Lee and Eric Yoo were doing what

they could to thwart Min and Tzeng’s obvious rhythm. When there wasn’t

much doing in the first set, the Spartan duo slowed it down, came to the

net more, and built a 4-1 lead.

But a team as talented at Min and Tzeng wasn’t going to go that

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easily. They rallied to within one, and then to a 5-5 tie, and from there

the momentum stayed i their favor.

“We didn’t come out as aggressively as we should have,” said Lee, who

with Yoo, is the league’s CIF alternate duo after they beat Gogna and

Kerchof in the third-place match, 6-1, 6-4.

“We kind of found it in the second set, but by then it wasn’t too

late. But I still think we played pretty well. I’m happy with what

happened.”

In singles Kim battled, but was overpowered by stronger, more

experienced players. He lost first to San Marino’s Nathanael Liu, 6-1,

6-2, and then to South Pasadena’s Charles Hummel, 6-1, 6-1.

HOW THE SPARTANS DID

ROBIN KIM lost to Charles Hummel (South Pasadena), 6-1, 6-1; lost to

Nathanael Liu (San Marino), 6-1, 6-2.

JOHN SON and DAN SON lost to Warren Min and Eugene Tzeng (San Marino),

6-1, 6-1; def. KUNAL GOGNA and ROBERT KERCHOF, 6-7, 6-2, 10-4.

EDWARD LEE and ERIC YOO def. GOGNA AND KERCHOF, 6-1, 6-4; lost to

Warren Min and Eugene Tzeng (San Marino), 6-1, 7-5.


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