Singles success lifts St. Francis

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Other than one particular see-saw point for Christopher Grosvernor, St. Francis High's tennis match with Mission League opponent Sherman Oaks Notre Dame went quietly.

The Golden Knights came away with a sound 13-5 victory over the visiting Knights on Tuesday afternoon at the Fremont Tennis Center, including winning eight of nine sets in singles.

Grosvernor, St. Francis' No. 2 player, contributed by sweeping his three sets, 6-1, 6-0, 6-2, but he'll surely remember one point in particular.

"We had a rally of 100 shots," said Grosvernor of one point of a 6-2 victory over Notre Dame's Andrew Chase. "I started counting when we couldn't even bend our knees to shoot, then I finally won and we just stood there."

Grosvernor said he heard the applause so he looked around a couple moments at his teammates and Athletic Director Terry Terrazone, who was at the helm for St. Francis (6-5, 4-4 in league) after Coach Ron Zambrano had a prior commitment with his assistant on vacation.

It was the most dramatic highlight of a match in which the Golden Knights needed to win just one set of the third round after taking nine of the first 12.

Despite a relatively easy day overall with the Knights' singles competition, John Kazanjian and Kristian Esteve also had to fight to get past No. 3 Chase, who won 17 of his team's 20 games garnered in singles play.

"The first two sets were easy, but I couldn't play my usual game [against Chase]," Grosvernor said. "The ball just kept going back to him so I had to sit back on the ball and start pushing it more."

Kazanjian was able to prevail, 7-5, after trailing in the set, 5-2. Esteve dropped his set, 3-6, but had an easier time with No. 1 James Estavillo and No. 2 Julien Diemer, posting 6-0 scores in each.

St. Francis' top singles player, Kazanjian, defeated Estavillo's substitute Andrew Zastrow, 6-2, and Diemer's substitute, Hunor Lengyel, 6-0, to go along with his 7-5 effort.

"I didn't play my best tennis today, and my game is a little off, but I don't like to make excuses," said Kazanjian, who recorded the clinching 10th set in defeating Lengyel. "The set with Chase wasn't my best, but other than that, the games were good."

Notre Dame's No. 2 team of Jack Lancaster and Jordan Gipe didn't drop a set to St. Francis' duos: Greg Pak, and Daniel Gong, Armen Ter Zakarian and Alex Kevakian and Alfred Lee with Daren Kunitake for two sets and Daniel Ishmael for one.

Pak and Gong finished with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 showing. Ter Zakarian and Kevakian defeated the No. 1 team of Michael Koo and Matthew Aguilar 6-4, but dropped the next two, 2-6, 3-6.

Lee and Ishmael teamed up for a 6-4 win, while Kunitake saw a 0-6, 6-0 result.

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