PASADENA — With the Maranatha High boys' tennis team potentially in position to play two playoff matches in as many days, it embraced the challenge.
The Minutemen entered the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs fresh off finishing second in the Olympic League and with several players performing well in the league tournament last week. More importantly, they appeared to be well conditioned.
Maranatha used its physical preparation as an advantage en route to a convincing 13-5 win against visiting Nogales in a wild-card match at Muir High.
"It's a tough situation to be in because you are up against playing the next day," said Maranatha first-year Coach Aaron Cho, whose team will meet host Sierra Visa in a first-round match at 3 p.m. Wednesday. "Physically, we were able to handle it [against Nogales] and now it's about being able to bounce back quickly.
"There's a small margin for error."
Maranatha (10-9) handled itself well against Nogales (7-15).
The Minutemen, who finished behind Village Christian in league, got two singles victories apiece from Randall Hsieh (6-0, 6-0), Daniel Hsieh (6-1, 6-1) and Evan Chee (6-2, 6-1). They also received doubles sweeps from Noah Schlenker and Wesley Oliver (6-3, 6-2, 6-2) and Derek Lee and Lio Liang (6-1, 6-4, 6-1) and one victory from Colin Dillingham and Teddy Tran (6-1) to dispatch a Nogales squad that finished fourth in the Valle Vista League.
Lee and Liang entered the match having won the league's doubles championship and looked sharp in each set.
Randall Hsieh, who advanced to the league's singles final, said the Minutemen were ready.
"We look at is as a privilege to play back-to-back days," said Hsieh, who notched a 6-0 win against Darien Enriquez to give the Minutemen a 10-3 lead and the match. "It's the only way we wanted to look at it.
"The last couple of weeks I feel like I've been peaking, especially toward the end of league. The team and I just have to keep working hard."
Maranatha held a 5-1 lead through the first round and took a 9-3 advantage entering the final round.
"We got the points when we needed them," Cho said. "We started off a little slow, but started to get some wins."
Nogales' Anthony Sanchez, who won his league's singles title, swept his three sets (6-1, 6-0, 6-2).