The Dana Hills boys' tennis team handed Los Alamitos its first loss of the season, 14-4, in the Southern Section 3-A playoffs Thursday.
The victory sends Dana Hills into the section final for the first time in the school's history. Dana Hills meets Calabasas, which defeated Capistrano Valley in the other semifinal, Wednesday at a site to be determined by a coin flip today.
Los Alamitos (23-1) had no illusions about how difficult making the final might be. Even though Dana Hills' record (18-9) isn't as impressive, the Dolphins were seeded second in the bracket. The Griffins settled for No. 3.
Dana Hills earned the victory by dominating doubles play, taking all but one match there, as well as a strong performance in singles by Ryan Gately, who won all three of his matches by 6-3 scores.
Gately, a freshman, raised his record to 59-4 by beating the Griffins' Kit Codik, Joaquin Garcia and Shubert Koong.
"We thought it was going to go down to a 10-8 or 9-9 match, so we were concentrating on just winning individual games in case of a tie," Dana Hills Coach Art Jenkins said. "We had good concentration all the way around--we played our very best tennis."
Los Alamitos' lone highlight in doubles was a victory by Jon Imel and Matt Bateman over the Dolphins' Andy Taylor and Neel Grover. Imel and Bateman won the tiebreaker, 10-8, to win the overall match, 7-6.
"Well, we've made it to the final four three out of the last four years," Los Alamitos Coach Ken Parker said. "There aren't too many teams around that can say that.
"Besides, there's always next year."
In other 3-A action:
Calabasas 11, Capistrano Valley 7--Seniors Steve Oliver and Paul Wiere swept their singles sets to lead the Coyotes past the Cougers (17-4).
In 4-A semifinal action:
Miraleste 13, University 5--Ramesh Rao won one of his three singles sets and the doubles team of Jeff Kizer and Rob Finlay won two of three doubles sets but the Trojans were defeated.
University, which finished second in the Sea View League, ended the season 17-4-1.
In 2-A action:
Loyola 14, Valencia 4--Led by the No. 1 doubles team of Larry Bright and Richard Dion, the Cubs swept the Tigers in doubles. Loyola (15-4) advances to the final against Indio. The Orange League champion Tigers finished 15-5.