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December 10, 2010 > Milpitas girls win doubles tennis title

Milpitas girls win doubles tennis title

By Biff Jones
Photo courtesy of Alex Tain

After almost a two-week delay, Mother Nature finally cooperated, allowing the finish of the Central Coast Section (CCS) girls tennis doubles tournament. It was long worth the wait for the No. 3-seeded duo of Vivian Nguyen and Christi Tain. On Monday, Dec. 6, the Milpitas High team topped the No. 2 seed from Monta Vista High (semifinals) and No. 6 seed from Stevenson School (finals) at Courtside Tennis Club in Los Gatos for the CCS title.

Nguyen, a senior, and Tain, a sophomore, went into the tournament as champions from the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division. In the semifinals, they took on Wendi Kong and Ruri Kobayakawa of Monta Vista. Nguyen served first in the opening game which Milpitas won by winning the deuce point (CCS rules state first to four points in a game wins). In the next game, the Trojans broke the Matadors in four straight for a quick 2-0 lead. Milpitas would go on to a 6-0 first-set victory.

Nguyen again opening on her serve to start the second set, and it was soon 3-0 Milpitas before Kong finally held serve to cut the lead to 3-1. After going up 4-1 (winning another deuce game) on Nguyen's serve, Monta Vista held serve again and the score was cut to 4-2. That would be the Matadors last hurrah as the Trojans closed out the match winning the last to games for a 6-0, 6-2 semi-final victory.

In dominating the Matadors, the Trojans executed a solid plan in which the veteran Nguyen played back on all rallies while the young Tain patrolled the net whenever she could. Tain only went to the back line to serve or receive serves, then took the net at her first opportunity.

With the semifinals behind them, the only thing standing in the way of the CCS crown was the duo of Logan Finnell and Anna Romeka of Pebble Beach's Stevenson School. Finnell and Romeka topped top-seeded Stacy Yam and Kennedy Davis of Archbishop Mitty High 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Both sides showed championship jitters in the opening set, with neither team holding serve in the first four games. Then in the fifth game of the set, the Trojans broke the trend as Nguyen held serve to give Milpitas a 3-2 lead. This was enough for Nguyen and Tain to take control of the set and close it out 6-2.

Just a set away from a championship, the Trojans could smell it, and quickly took control of the second set by going up 4-0, not letting any game get to deuce. However, Stevenson, not willing to give in, rallied to cut the lead to 4-2. Tain took the ball to serve, turned to her partner and said, "Let's close this out."

Tain immediately put her team on the brink of a section title, winning her game at love to go up 5-2. But Finnel had one last gasp in serving the eighth game of the set as she also won at love with both of her last two points coming on aces to cut the lead to 5-3. However, Milpitas' duo was not phased. Leading 40-30, Nguyen served. Her serve was sent back, but Tain clinched the title with an overhead slam to give Milpitas a 6-2, 6-3 CCS final victory.

Nguyen, the Trojans No. 1 singles player, went undefeated for the season, winning 26 consecutive singles and doubles matches combined. Tain, No. 2 at singles, became the youngest player to ever to win a Milpitas doubles title.

Milpitas has now won a CCS individual girls tennis title in three straight years under coach Dong Pham. In 2008 and '09, Katie Le won the singles title.




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