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The Long and the Short of It

May 25, 1997|DANA HADDAD

They've been underestimated, but never overlooked.

And as the Westlake High boys' tennis team has surged to a 20-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in Southern Section Division III, Kenny Simpson and Garrett Wong have made their contributions--both big and small.

As one of Westlake's top two doubles teams, Simpson, a junior, and Wong, a freshman, have a 41-5 record.

An impressive stat for sure, but fans most often shake their head over other numbers: Simpson is a towering 6 feet 6. Wong is barely 5 feet.

Their Westlake teammates affectionately call Simpson and Wong the "Twin Towers." Suffice it to say that they are head and shoulders better than most opponents.

"They look at him and me and they wonder, 'What are they going to be like out there?' and which one of us is going to be the weak link," Simpson said. "When we're done, they realize both of us are solid."

Simpson and Wong have contrasting styles and personalities. Simpson is powerful and vocal and Wong is quiet and steady.

"I keep the points alive, then he puts them away," Wong said. "I'm not really a volleyer. For me to try to be a serve and volleyer wouldn't be a very smart thing to do."

Simpson has been resting an inflamed shoulder this week, but he is confident he'll be back in action for the third round of team play.

Of course, the success of Wong and Simpson is not the long and short of Westlake's success.

Top singles player Darren Joe is 43-1, No. 2 Alex Yaftali is 37-5, and No. 3 Erik Janson is 32-7.

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