Tennis ousted from playoffs in CIF semifinals

Story by Ethan Kwak 
Staff Writer 

Photo by Samantha Shiroishi
Staff Photographer

On Wednesday, May 10, the SPHS varsity boys tennis team was eliminated from CIF by the Tesoro Titans after a historic run. The Tigers’ lost 12-6. After blowing out the Arlington Lions 14-4, overcoming the Santiago Sharks in tiebreak points 112-111, and surging past the Cerrito Dons in game points 85-80, the Tigers finally met their match with the Titans. 

Coach Krista Gale led the team through three consecutive CIF victories and an unforgettable 2023 Spring season for varsity boys tennis. 

“She helped us stay disciplined and focused before games so we would enter every game with a positive winning mindset. Additionally she was very open to changing the lineups to adjust to each new challenge so we would maximize our potential,” sophomore Emett Mendel said.

In the final game, which ended in defeat, South Pas struggled to keep up with the strength of Tesoro’s singles team. Still, the Tigers’ run is marked with underdog victories that signify the program is on the rise.

“[The] Titans had a strong singles team, but other than that they were very much beatable. Our full team just didn’t play to [the] best of our abilities that day. I feel disappointed in myself for the outcome of the game and will make sure to heavily improve for next year and finish what we started, a winning culture, this year,” sophomore Zachary Lee said. 

Senior Finn McMillan won two of his three sets with seniors against the Titans. The seniors were a core part of the Tigers’ historic run, putting their best foot forward during key games. 

“…special shout-out for Finn McMillan for his crazy consistency as our singles leader. For the past 4 years he’s always locked down wins for us, and it was only fair that he was rewarded with a deep semi final run, as well as two strong set wins against Tesoro to close out his final season,” Senior Winston Chan said.

The Tigers’ qualified for CIF semifinals for the first time in team history, and the SPHS community looks forward to their return next year.

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