NATOMAS — Facing a very strong Saratoga squad in the quarterfinals of the CIF NorCal Championships on Friday, the Davis High boys tennis team played like it has all season, hard and smart.
Playing that way had carried the Blue Devils to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals and over D-II champ Rio Americano to earn the NorCal berth. But it wasn’t enough against Saratoga as DHS fell, 6-1, at the Gold River Racquet Club.
“We played them really well,” said Devil coach Dale Hersch. “All the teams in the quarterfinals are pretty tough and Saratoga is really good top to bottom.”
That didn’t stop the local No. 3 doubles squad, made up of a pair of freshmen in Cooper Hosley and Kyle Qi, from posting a come-from-behind victory, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“They were great,” said Hersch, who praised his entire doubles lineup. “They are a couple of freshmen, I don’t think they have ever played before and Kyle was just added (to the lineup) the day before.”
Playing at No. 1, Dan Segedin and Chase Kellison took their opponents the distance in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 loss, while Jasper Murphy and James Cole also played tough at No. 2.
In singles, where Saratoga features an extremely talented quartet, Hersch said Louis Pak and David Wang gave their opponents at No. 2 and 3 all they could handle.
The loss ends a strong season for a Blue Devil squad that had nearly a brand-new lineup for 2014. The year-long improvement ended in DHS reaching the section finals for the 10th time in the 12 seasons.
“We had a lot of young players this year,” Hersch said. “They stayed focused and torwards the end of the year they really started to play well. These are smart kids and they work hard. It’s a great group of guys and they took it as far as they possible could.”