Sports


Prep tennis: M-A, PA, Menlo duos earn league doubles titles

Palo Alto doubles team wins SCVAL El Camino Division title

Menlo seniors Andrei Volgin (left) and Kevin Kafayi won the WBAL doubles title. Photo by Pam McKenney/Menlo Athletics.

Menlo-Atherton tennis players Tim Berthier and Jake Andrew have practiced together, played a few games here and there but until Thursday afternoon at Burlingame had never played a competitive match against each other.

It took the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division individual championship singles match to bring them together.

The top-seeded Berthier, who lost in last year's title contest, downed No. 3 seed Andrew 6-1, 6-3, on a calm, cool day.

"The whole point today was to forget the past and focus on what I could do now," said Berthier, who will be attending Colorado in the fall. "Playing a teammate added extra pressure."

The M-A team of Zach Ostrow and Maksim Lukic won the doubles title with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Carlmont's Chris Cho and Daniel Arakakai.

M-A's Luke Jensen and Griffin Voss won the third-place match with a victory over Aragon's Ilan Leventhal and Richard Tang.

Menlo-Atherton and Menlo School open the Central Coast Section team tournament on Wednesday. Pairings will be announced following Monday's seeding meeting. The individual singles and doubles tournament will be played May 14 and 15.

The Bears reached the semifinals of the CCS team tournament last year, losing to eventual champion Menlo. They beat St. Francis in the quarterfinals.

"Seeding is so important," Berthier said. "It really determines who makes the semifinals. Hopefully we can ghet a good seed."

M-A was seeded fifth last year while the Lancers were seeded fourth. The Bears won that match 4-3 on St. Francis' home court Cuesta Park.

Berthier and Andrew were M-A's top two singles players, helping the Bears win their 11th straight PAL Bay title with a 12-0 record, their fifth straight unbeaten league season. M-A extended its PAL regular-seaosn winning streak to 87 games and is 153-1 since the last three matches of the 2008 season.

Andrew, who won the PAL doubles title with Jeffrey Jorgensen last year, played a three-set match Wednesday just to reach the semifinals, where he downed No. 2 Milad Shafaie of Carlmont.

"That helped me a lot," Andrew said of his quarterfinal match. "It got me into a total groove to play the next match. I had to step into the ball and be aggressive and that carried over."

Andrew considers himself a better doubles, where he was ranked higher on the junior circuit in 2018. He hasn't played doubles since late September, when he teamed with Pleasanton's Adam Linette at the 16U and 18U sectionals in Los Gatos.

Berthier didn't get far in last year's singles tournament as a sprained ankle ended his competition before it started.

"I hope to make up for last year," he said.

Berthier, a big surfer, decided on Colorado because he wanted the best of both worlds in terms of experiencing the mountains as well as the ocean.

"It was less about tennis and more about my future," he said.

West Bay Athletic League

Menlo School seniors Kevin Kafayi and Andrei Volgin captured the league doubles championship on their home court Thursday, beating Harker's Mihir Sharma and Ramanand Vegesma 6-1, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2 in the final.

Freshman Soren Sutaria reached the singles championship match where he fell 6-0, 6-3 to Crystal Springs Uplands sophomore Brian Bilsey, currently ranked 66th in the nation by Tennis Recruiting.

Volgin and Kafayi defeated Sacred Heart Prep's Conor Burns and James Homer 6-1, 6-1 in the openng round and then topped Crystal Springs' Owen Dillon and Josh Chan 6-3, 6-2 to advance.

Sutaria topped Nikhil Suresh of Nueva 6-2, 6-1 in the openning round, then defeated Pinewood's Quincy Linder 6-3, 6-2 to reach the finals.

Volgin and Kafayi defend the Knights' title from last year, when Bo Leschly and Clark Safran, also CCS doubles champions, won.

SCVAL El Camino Division

Palo Alto's Adam Love and Nathan Ellisen beat a team from Los Altos in a super tie-breaker, 6-2, 2-6, 10-4 Thursday, earning the doubles title.

The top-seeded duo reached the finals with a 3-6, 7-5, 10-8 victory over a team from Cupertino.

In singles play, Paly's Matthew Ho beat Mountain View's Miles Wada 6-1, 2-6, 10-6, to advance into the second round. Vikings' Anthony Georgiadis also competed in the tournament.

SCVAL De Anza Division

Gunn's Nik Olsen won twice to reach the championship round in singles, where he lost a tough match to Saratoga's Stefan Meier. Titans' Colin Chan also competed.

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