Varsity Boys Tennis

Sacred Heart Prep 5, Saratoga 2

Date of competition: Friday, May 9, 2008

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Comments: 15

Getting outstanding performances from its four freshmen, the Sacred Heart Prep boys' tennis team captured the Central Coast Section championship on Friday with a 5-2 thumping of top-seeded Saratoga at the Courtside Tennis Club in Los Gatos. The Falcons (19-2) came into the match having already beaten the No. 3 Gators (24-3) this season, but that only gave SHP motivation for payback. And payback was sweet as the Gators also avenged last season's 4-3 loss to Bellarmine in the CCS semifinals, which ended SHP's 2007 season at 26-1. There would be no repeat of that finish this season, thanks in part to SHP freshmen Andrew Malozak, Mario Paganini, Pedro Robinson and Kyle Scherba. Malozak made quick work of Bellarmine transfer Mike McGinnis with a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles. Paganini joined with junior Mark Westerfield to win at No. 2 doubles, 6-0, 6-3, and the all-freshman tandem of Robinson and Scherba added the final exclamation point to the victory with a three-set win at No. 3 doubles. Juniors John Michael Hansen and John Parsons gave Sacred Heart Prep a quick 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph at No. 1 doubles. The match, fittingly, was clinched by senior Jamie Hutter. It was Hutter and fellow seniors Billy McCall and Erik Blumenkranz who promised their teammates following a 5-2 loss to Saratoga in March that things would be different if the teams met again. While Blumenkranz lost to Saratoga's John Lamble at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-3, and McCall dropped his No. 4 singles match, Hutter made sure the seniors made good on their vow with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) triumph at No. 2 singles to produce the winning point. The CCS title for Sacred Heart Prep is the team's third, but only the first in the single-division format. The Gators won Division II crowns in 2005 (against Menlo) and '06 (vs. Saratoga). Both the Gators and Falcons will advance to the NorCal Tournament set for May 16-17 at UC Davis.

posted by Keith Peters on May 9, 2008 at 5:20 pm

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posted by Keith Peters on May 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Sacred Heart Prep's Jamie Hutter (right) gets a hug from fellow senior Erik Blumenkranz following Hutter's victory at No. 2 singles to clinch the Gators' 5-2 tennis win over Saratoga in the CCS team finals last Friday. Photo by Keith Peters/Palo Alto Online.

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posted by Palo Alto Online on May 20, 2008 at 4:47 pm
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posted by Palo Alto Online on May 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Sacred Heart Prep senior Jamie Hutter won three tennis matches at No. 2 singles, helping eliminate No. 2 Bellarmine in the semifinals and then winning the clinching match to beat top-seeded Saratoga in the CCS team tournament championship match.
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