The bad fortune that the Davis High boys tennis team has experienced in the past week probably would kill most prep squads’ postseason aspirations.
The Blue Devils, however, are not like most squads.
Despite having lost Phil Glazer to an appendectomy, Sean Maroney to a broken femur and Chase Kellison to an illness, DHS cruised to a 9-0 victory over Rocklin in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section tournament on Tuesday. In getting the win in their postseason opener at the Community Park Tennis Complex, the locals kept their quest for a fifth straight SJS title alive and well.
The Devils’ depth was the main reason why they were able to sweep the Thunder despite being without Glazer, Maroney, Kellison and No. 1 singles player Glenn Hull, who was given the day off to rest and prepare for the next round.
Several Davis players either came off the bench or shifted to an unusual spot to fill the holes in the rotation …
Manraj Gill, who has generally paired with Maroney this year, and Bob Li stepped up to the top doubles spot and won 6-0, 6-0. Sean Mishra moved up from doubles and prevailed 6-0, 6-1 as the No. 3 singles player. Isaac Yee, who usually plays at No. 3 or 4, slid up to No. 2 singles and won handily, 6-1, 6-0.
“I feel good about the depth,” said veteran Blue Devil head coach Dale Hersch. “The only thing (the injuries really do) is hurt the (doubles) teams. We’ve had the teams kind of set. So you’re taking players that were comfortable with a certain partner and switching them up. They’ve all played together in practice, but it does kind of shuffle things up.”
Chris Chinn and Louis Pak, who normally plays singles, won 6-3, 6-2 as the No. 2 doubles team and Sam Yoder and Brandon Zhu took a 6-3, 6-0 victory at No. 3 doubles.
However, Andrew Dumit might have had the most impressive — and longest — performance of the day. Dumit moved up from his usual No. 2 spot to face Rocklin’s top player, Alex Agelakopoulos, in a match that continued long after all the other courts had been vacated. Both players were forced to adjust to high winds — which played a role throughout the contest — but in the end, Dumit had the most success controlling the ball, and won by a final score of 6-2, 7-6.
“When it’s windy, I let the guys know that we have to practice because this could happen,” Hersch said. “But playing in the wind and against the wind, particularly when you’re aware of it, it’s just really tough. You really almost have to think through each shot. But I thought they did a great job (Tuesday).”
Rounding out the Devils’ sweep, Isaac Zhang won 7-6, 6-1 at No. 4 singles, Tris Dutta prevailed 6-1, 7-6 at No. 5 and Kenneth Chow, normally a doubles player, earned a 6-2, 7-6 victory at the sixth spot.
DHS will have to continue to draw on its depth next week, when it could potentially play three days in a row. On Monday, the locals will take on either Turlock or West. If they win, they will play in the section semifinals Tuesday, and then potentially the finals next Wednesday. All matches will be played in Davis, and Hersch believes that Blue Devils will face longtime rival Jesuit if they can reach the section championship contest.
— Reach Will Bellamy at email@example.com