By Tommy Fellner
The Acalanes Men’s Tennis team, the 2 seed in the NCS playoffs, had a double header on Saturday, playing in both the NCS semifinals and finals.
In the morning at 9 am, the Dons squared off against Monte Vista, the 3 seed in the tournament, and a team the Dons have beat 5-4 earlier in the season.
However, the Mustangs did not want to see their season end and put everything they had into this matchup. The Dons and Mustangs split their first 6 matches and left the best of seven series tied at 3-3 with one match to go.
The final match was played by junior Kyle Everly, the top player on Acalanes’ ladder against Monte Vista’s top player. In a heated match that dragged on as the day got hotter and hotter, it was Everly that prevailed and booked Acalanes’ first ever ticket to the finals.
After the match the Dons were informed they would be facing their league rival Dougherty Valley, the team that has dealt them two of their three losses this season. Although the Wildcats were without two of their 5 star players due to a conflict with another tournament, Dougherty Valley, ranked 16th in the nation, would still be a formidable opponent for Acalanes.
The Dons and Wildcats met at 1 under the beating sun and amidst a large crowd to play out the NCS final. Acalanes had never made it this far in the tournament, while Dougherty Valley was the defending champion.
Things were looking as if the Dons could pull a huge upset when juniors Ryan Cardiff and Isaiah Bird won each of their singles matches. But as the doubles games wrapped up, Dougherty Valley had caught right back up.
Ian Dao and Presten Tso lost their match by a score of 0-6 6-0 and fell in a close third and deciding game 6-3.
Kyle Everly fell in his singles match to Dougherty’s Kevin Ma, the tournament champion. Everly put up quite a fight, winning the first game 6-3. In the second game Ma gave him all he could handle and Ma swept Everly 6-0.
The third and deciding game was back and forth with Ma and Everly exchanging games. However in the tenth game, with the score 5-4 in Ma’s favor, Everly buckled under the heat and experienced an excruciating cramp. Unable to return to the game, Everly was forced to retire, losing 5-4.
After the early victories, Acalanes lost to Dougherty Valley 5-2. This was the best finish the Dons had ever experienced in the history of Men’s Tennis at Acalanes.
The Dons season will also continue thanks to their high placement as they compete in the CIF State tournament on Friday.