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Same semifinal hurdle for Indians

Tennis: To get to first-ever CIF championship, Burroughs must avenge last year's semis loss against Palm Desert.

May 20, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY
  • Garrett Auproux and the Burroughs High boys' tennis team take on top-seeded Palm Desert in the CIF playoffs.
Garrett Auproux and the Burroughs High boys' tennis… (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

This season's CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs have led the Burroughs High boys' tennis team to a familiar place against a familiar opponent.

For the second-straight year, the Indians will travel to Palm Desert to take on the No. 1-seeded Aztecs in a semifinal contest. The teams will take to the court at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Burroughs will be looking to avenge a 14-4 loss at the hands of Palm Desert in the 2011 semifinal. The Aztecs went on to capture the division championship.

To knock off Palm Desert, however, the Indians will likely have to get through a lineup that is chalk full of talent in singles as well as doubles. In the playoffs thus far, the three Aztecs doubles corps have a combined 27-0 record.

Leading that doubles group is the team of Jack Felish and Austin Rapp, which notched 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 wins against Arroyo Grande in the quarterfinals. The duo also won the Desert Valley League championship. The team also has accomplished doubles squads in Cameron McDonald and Austin Graham and John Kimmes and Matt Leggat.

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League champion Palm Desert also has a formidable singles group that is led by Abe Hewko, who earned a sweep by 6-0 scores against Arroyo Grande. The junior also secured the league individual title. Other strong singles include Robbie Graham and Ryan Marker.

"I'll just tell you this; I feel fortunate that I don't have a hole in the lineup this year," Palm Desert Coach Randy Blalock said. "And the 27-0 record for our singles, that's with not moving any of our singles down to doubles."

The Indians will counter in singles with two-time Pacific League champion Garrett Auproux, a junior who has a season record of 35-1. However, the rest of the singles lineup is still up in the air. Because of a hand injury to league singles runner-up Calvin Fox and a wrist injury to Michael Whelan, Coach Roy Bernhardt stacked the doubles against Chadwick and both teamed up in separate duos.

The team does have a talented duo in senior Phillip Lam and junior Kevin Hoang, who won the league doubles championship. Wen Yao Lin has also played singles all season and has been teamed up with various partners.

Freshman Sawyer Patterson has played both singles and doubles in the postseason.

"We still haven't figured out exactly what lineup we're going to go with," said Bernhardt, whose team placed second in league. "The guys are pretty healthy right now, so there are some different things that we can do. But we still have some time to decide."

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