Davis High racketeer Louis Pak had been in a slump for a while.
The Blue Devils’ No. 3 singles player disappointingly accounted for the only DHS loss in Monday’s Sac-Joaquin Section quarterfinal win over Oak Ridge, but he redeemed himself Tuesday with a dominating performance. Pak’s victory helped the Devils defeat Granite Bay, 7-2, and advance to today’s section finals against Jesuit at the Rio Del Oro Raquet Club in Sacramento (3 p.m.).
Pak, a junior, demolished Bradley Chee 6-3, 6-1, finishing 15 minutes earlier than any of the other eight matches, seven of which also were won in straight sets.
“Louis beat (Chee) earlier in the year, but he hasn’t been playing as well as he usually does,” Davis coach Dale Hersch told The Enterprise. “He came out 0-2 and didn’t win a point, so I just said, ‘Hey, relax. Just find your game.’ He barely won the first set. And that was just it, something snapped. Going into this match, I was thinking, ‘God, if Louis loses, it’s going to make things interesting,’ but he took care of business.
“I was very pleased because he did not play well (Monday),” Hersch added. “But I’d rather that he didn’t play well (Monday) than (Tuesday).”
Blue Devil No. 1 Dan Segedin and No. 2 Tris Dutta both dropped their matches Wednesday, but DHS captured the final four singles outings and all three doubles matchups.
Bob Li, a Devil senior, played a thriller against Tanner Bassett at No. 5, winning 6-3, 5-7, 12-10, after which his teammates doused him Super Bowl-style with a Gatorade bucket filled with water.
“The matches started out a little close, a little tight,” Hersch said. “(Our guys) wanted to keep that record of 12 section finals in a row. They knew about it, the legacy and all this. But then they just relaxed and stuck it into (Granite Bay). They played as well as they could play.”
Keeping that streak alive means Davis will face Jesuit in the section championships contest for the 10th time in 12 seasons. The Marauders won the 2013 crown with a 7-2 decision that ended Blue Devils’ streak of four straight titles.
On Tuesday, DHS got additional singles wins from Chase Kellison (6-2, 6-2) and David Wang (6-2, 6-4). In doubles, Victor Li and Jasper Murphy dominated, 6-3, 6-1, James Cole and Scott Lucio won, 6-2, 6-4, and Alex Chen and Cooper Hosley were victorious by the score of 6-4, 6-1.
“We’re pleased to be in the finals again,” Hersch said. “I expect Jesuit to win, but don’t get me wrong, we’re going to give it everything we have.”
— Reach Evan Ream at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam