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April 30, 2008 > Mission San Jose Boys Tennis sweeps to titles

Mission San Jose Boys Tennis sweeps to titles

Submitted By Bill Patton

The Boys Tennis team at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont has always been near the top of the league, with many great players coming through the program. This year's team won league titles with unexpected depth. "I know some teams were more motivated by what they saw as weaknesses due to graduation from last year's team," said head coach Bill Patton. "However, we set out to become a much improved team from the beginning of the season to the end," he added.

The Mission team will certainly have a great measuring stick when it reaches the North Coast Section (NCS) Team competition. The draws will be done this Sunday, May 4, and play begins Tuesday, May 6. There is as good a chance that Mission will host a match as it is that they will play on the road. Mission's pre-season heavy load of road matches has them comfortable playing anywhere.

The toughest match of the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) season was a road match at Irvington High of Fremont with the league lead on the line between two unbeaten teams. Irvington held an early lead by a breaking serve in the first set of five of the seven varsity matches being played. With at least 50 fans cheering, unusual for a high school match, Irvington had all the momentum and held on to win the first set in four of the five matches. Mission players maintained their poise, and improved their play on the spot using strong tactics to come from behind in two of the matches.

Stephen Yu, Mission's number one singles player, was down 0-6, 0-4, to Kevin Chen from Irvington, then forged a ferocious comeback, to win 0-6, 6-4, 6-2, in what had to be the best comeback match in the league this season. Brandon Nguyen played the longest match, going almost three hours to win 6-7 (9-7), 6-2, 7-5, when facing last years number one player, Eddie Sanghani. The second meeting of the year between Mission and Irvington was won by Mission, 7-0, with another three setter between Chen and Yu (which was again won by Yu). Mission showed some improvement from the previous meeting between the two powerhouses.

In the MVAL tournament, Yu played his best tennis of the season so far, facing tough challenges in the semi-finals and finals, before prevailing 6-4, 6-1 against Chen of Irvington, and 6-3, 6-0 against Brian Zhou from American High in Fremont. Yu showed improved court quickness, great defensive play, and the ability to dictate play with a mix of spins, placement and power. In doubles action, the biggest upset of the event came from MSJ's number three seeds, Kyle Richter and Andrew Sutedja, as they defeated a tough team of number two seeds, Jason Huang and Gifford Bautista from American, 6-3, 6-0. Top seeded Cartney Dzoan and Evan Dankiewicz won the MVAL doubles title over Richter and Sutedja in an all Mission Final.

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