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El Camino Real Rises to Occasion

Boys' tennis: Conquistadores defeat rival Granada Hills, 17-12 1/2, to capture first City Section title.


WOODLAND HILLS — El Camino Real High's singles strength proved too much for Granada Hills on Thursday.

The Conquistadores captured their first City Section boys' tennis title with a 17-12 1/2 victory at the Warner Center Tennis Club.

The City's top two teams had split their two West Valley League matches in a best-of-seven match format. But the round-robin, no-ad scoring used in the final became an advantage for El Camino Real, which won 14 of 16 singles points.

The Conquistadores' hero was Matt Jones, who swept his sets at No. 2 singles, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Shaun Flynn and Nick Kogan clinched the victory for top-seeded El Camino Real with a 7-5 victory over Granada Hills' No. 2 team of Onanya Sreepathi and Mike Edelson.

"I had a feeling it would come down to that last doubles set," Flynn said. "What turned the match around was Nick's topspin-lob winner at 3-3. We both thought it was going out, but it landed right on the line."

Sreepathi and Edelson staved off two match points to hold for 5-5, but Flynn's service winner on the decisive deuce point produced a 6-5 lead. Sreepathi double-faulted twice in the final game to give El Camino Real (15-1) the points it needed to clinch the title.

"We are obviously the two best teams in the City, and they deserve all the credit," said Granada Hills Coach Ron Wood. "A lot of the sets were close, they just outplayed us."

A key set in the first round matched No. 1 players James Magsino of El Camino Real and Nima Roshan. Roshan was serving for the first set at 5-4, but sprayed a forehand long on the winner-take-all deuce point. Magsino held serve to go ahead, 6-5, before Roshan fought off two set points to force a seven-point tiebreaker.

Roshan took a 6-1 lead and won the tiebreaker three points later with a second serve that wasn't returned.

Granada Hills (14-2) suffered two setbacks in the second round of singles. First, Roshan was upset by Jones, 6-2, then No. 2 player Vlad Kinevski was unable to hold a 5-2, 40-love lead against El Camino Real's No. 4 player, Bruce Aiken, who rallied to win, 7-5.

Sherman Oaks CES 16, Poly 13 1/2--Adam Isen won three of four singles sets and Anoy Toung and Paul Pantaplangrook swept three sets at No. 1 doubles to lead the No. 2-seeded Knights (11-4) to the City Invitational title.

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