CLAREMONT – Connor Treacy dropped two match points in the tiebreaker against Palm Desert No. 1 Ace Hewko before falling 6-7 (10-8) in the first round. That would be the difference between a CIF championship and runner-up for the SaMoHi Vikings tennis team.
The Vikings dominated singles, with Cristobal Rivera sweeping his three matches and Treacy and Conrad McKinnon both losing only to Hewko in the round robin.
Doubles was a different story.
“Singles played really well and kept us in the match,” said SaMoHi coach Wilston Poon. “We knew they were super good and exceptional at doubles, and their doublesjust shut us down,”
Zach Resnick and Alex Baettig won the only doubles match against the Aztecs’ Cameron McDonald and Michael Burkin.
After the trade of SaMo’s singles for Palm Desert’s doubles, the match was 9-8 with one match to go. In the case of a 9-9 tie, whoever won the most games out of their sets would win the match. According to Poon, the team knew they had lost more games in their matches and would still lose.
“I told them, ‘Just go out there and play your heart out and let’s get the tie and we’ll see what happens,'” Poon said.
McKinnon fell to Aiden Kaross, 6-3.
“I learned a lot and gained a lot of experience and the kids did, too,” Poon said. “They hungered for that trophy. They were so down because they knew they had it. We had a really good chance. We just let it slip out of our grasp. We think next year is going to be a really good year. Even though we’re losing three seniors, we feel we have a good chance to go all the way.”