NORTHEAST GLENDALE â€” The Flintridge Prep boys' tennis team took a four-set lead fairly early in Tuesday's Prep League matchup with Pasadena Poly at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center and maintained it for a while.
But when the Rebels' doubles teams couldn't match the production of their singles players down the stretch, the match tightened up in a hurry.
Unable to win a doubles match after the first round, Prep's fate came down to the final singles match of the afternoon, and Rebels No. 3 Kent Hyun came through with a 6-3 win over Poly No. 1 Wesley DeVoll to clinch a 10-8 victory.
â€œI realized I had to win, but I was leading at the time so it was less pressure,â€ said Byun, who also had a pair of 6-2 wins over No. 2 Sagar Pujara and No. 3 Matt Diephuies to complete a sweep. â€œWe're getting better and we're starting to play as a team better.â€
It was a balanced team effort for the Rebels, who also got a sweep from No. 1 doubles John Lee and John Kim, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 and 7-5, 6-2 wins over DeVoll and Pujara from No. 2 singles Eric Kazangian.
The win over Poly (8-6, 2-2 in league) improved the first-place Rebels to 10-3 and 3-1 in league and kept them on track to secure a playoff berth with a win in either of their two upcoming matches against Webb to close out the regular season or clinch the league title with a sweep of the two.
â€œWe feel pretty good about how we're going to do against [the Gauls],â€ said Rebels Coach Ron Catano, whose team hosts Webb at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and must also travel to Webb for a postponed match originally scheduled for April 18. â€œWe beat Poly twice and Poly has already beaten Webb once, so we're pretty confident.â€
Prep, which hadn't won a Prep League match in years prior to winning its season opener on April 9, also got a 6-3 doubles win from David Chan and John Chu, who defeated Todd Barry and Aaron Yang.
Rebels No. 1 singles Alex Wood opened with a 7-5 win, but became ill during his match with Diephuies while down, 5-2, and retired.
â€œHe must have been dehydrated or something,â€ Catano said . â€œHe was going dizzy so he just had to stop.â€