The San Marino High School boys’ varsity tennis team lost just two matches all year, but Monday’s felt like a dozen defeats all by itself as they fell to powerful Loyola High of Los Angeles, 12-6, in the CIF Division 1 quarterfinals at the Cheviot Hills Tennis Center.
SMHS senior captain Zihao Wang, the Rio Hondo League’s individual singles champion, had a finale for the ages, winning all three of his singles matches by identical scores of 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
Junior teammate Brian Hang, moving to singles play from his typical spot in doubles, won two other points for the Titans.
But the Cubs used an enthusiastic home crowd and the familiar confines to defeat San Marino on a chilly afternoon.
“Loyola played very well,” said Titan head coach Melwin Pereira. “They were at home and that seemed to benefit them a great deal. Give them credit, they are a great team and they have a solid program.”
TITANS 11, PALM DESERT 7
The Titans received a bye in the first round before hosting Palm Desert last Friday afternoon in a tough second-round contest. But San Marino was up to the test, showing balance in subduing the Aztecs by a final score of 11-7 while dealing the visitors their only loss of the season.
Wang went 2-1 in singles play, with freshman Ethan Barrett and senior Brandon Hang each going 1-2.
The Titans made most of their hay on the doubles side of the ledger, led by senior Aidan Paek and junior Aaron Lee, who were undefeated at 3-0. The tandems of sophomore Byron Paek and junior Brian Hang, and senior Ethan Foong and junior Gregory Hoang each won two of three sets to conquer the Aztecs.
The Titans end the season with a 13-2-2 overall record, including an 8-0 mark in the Rio Hondo League, which won them the league championship.