|High Desert Tennis Association|
Silverado gets blown out in second round
By GERALD TANG / Staff Writer
VICTORVILLE — Silverado, the last High Desert tennis team standing, couldn't find its footing Saturday.
That would be putting it very, very delicately.
After squeezing into the second round of the CIF-SS Division IV playoffs, the Hawks ran into a school called Viewpoint, which made the two-hour bus trip from Calabasas.
The commute might have been the most difficult part of the day for the Patriots, who scored a 17-1 victory at Silverado High School.
Fresh off three straight Division V championships, Viewpoint (20-2) moved up to tougher competition this year. The results have been the same.
The Patriots stormed past Mayfair 16-2 in Thursday’s first round. Silverado (8-6) edged Garey in a 9-9 match decided on total games.
Saturday’s outcome was quickly made a formality when the Patriots won the first 10 sets. The only suspense was whether the Hawks could avoid the shutout.
Senior Ben Zagala came through with a challenging 6-4 win against Viewpoint’s No. 3 singles player, Eric Leidersdorf. It was a moral victory that touched off a tongue-in-cheek celebration from the Silverado bench. The statkeepers drew a smiley face next to the score on the whiteboard.
"There’s only a certain amount you can do against teams like this," junior John Park said. "We could have taken more than one set. I think it was just the mentality. ... You can't just play your game."
Park went as far as trying an underhand serve against Troy List, Viewpoint’s top singles player. List was brilliantly dominant in a 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 sweep, doing whatever he wanted on the court. He would blast a winner on one point, then flick a drop-shot on the next.
Zagala, a Desert Sky League singles finalist, said List was the toughest opponent he has played. The Viewpoint senior kept rallies short with well-placed groundstrokes that were akin to fastballs with late movement.
"It doesn't look like it would spin a lot, but it would jump off the court really fast," Zagala said. "The shot doesn't look hard, but when it bounces, there’s a lot of action on the ball."
Radiating confidence, List spent his downtime between points cheering for his teammates on the other courts. He ran his singles record this season to 60-4.
"It’s playoff time, we're just out here to win," said List, who will play for Lehigh University next year. "No matter who it is, good or bad. We're just going to try to put them away as fast as possible, get some rest for the next round."
There won't be a next round for the Hawks, but they did win a playoff match for the third consecutive year. Sultana, Serrano and DSL champion Granite Hills were all eliminated in the first round earlier in the week.
Gerald Tang can be reached at email@example.com or 951-6281.