February 21, 2006 > Hall Ranch Combo 6.5 Men's Doubles takes state tennis title
Hall Ranch Combo 6.5 Men's Doubles takes state tennis title
by Monty Mun
Our 2005 season was capped with a state title for Hall Ranch. After success in the regular season, the team traveled to the playoffs for the Northern California Championship (Sectional Championship) at Fresno on January 15, 2006 and the State Cup Challenge in Bakersfield on February 11.
At the sectional championship game, we met tough local league opponents. In the first game, we lost 1:2 against Copper River, leaving us disappointed and without much flexibility in a "do-or-die" situation.
We couldn't afford to lose again and hung on to win the next three games with a final contest against unbeaten West Lake, considered a strong championship candidate. West Lake, with an impressive 13 wins and two losses in the regular season was a formidable opponent, but we had to beat them to win the sectional championship.
Our nine team members have been strong throughout the season, supporting each other and practicing on weekends. It has been fun to play together but even better to be champions. Conrad Pasion and Kyle Jones volunteered to play as first double team instead of third to give us a better chance against West Lake. With their sacrifice, our first and second double teams won their games giving us victory 2:1.
It was a sweet victory. West Lake strategy played their first double as a first but moved their second team to third position, switching with second position. It became a battle of second double teams meeting at the third double position. Michael Amos and Harmeet Anand, the second double, played amazing games while the pressure mounted and a large crowd cheered both sides.
Then it was on to Bakersfield, driving more than five hours. It was nice and dry, not like Fresno, where we had waited to play because of wet weather. Finally, we played against the Southern California Champion. The game was scheduled to play twice round-robin; our aim was to win 3:0 in the first match. Nice strategy! Who wouldn't like that?
Our opponents were great as expected but we were even tougher. Everyone played their hearts out and enjoyed the game because just being in the championship was an honor and great achievement. This was the last game of the season and we finished in style. All of our teams beat Southern Cal in the first match 3:0.
We were focused and team spirit was high. Each team was well matched and partners complimented partner strengths and weaknesses. In the afternoon games, we were relaxed, knowing that there was no chance for Southern Cal to come back. As soon as our first double team won 6:2, 6:2, the celebration began.
As we look back at this season, we never expected to be at the State Championship game and win.
As a captain, I want to thank the team for a great season. Special thanks to Tri and Quann for the awesome victories as first double and Phillip Wong and Paul Pak for playing at the championship games.
I would like to say to all the members of Hall Ranch Combo 6.5, without you, I could not make it. Thanks for all your support throughout the season, whether you participated in playoffs or not, you are all champions in my heart.
For our record and more information on season 2005, visit www.norcal.usta.com.