May 25—A hotly-contested match throughout, more than four hours of serves, volleys and lobs wasn’t enough to decide Monday’s Central Section Division V boys tennis championship at Golden Valley.
Tied 4-4 with the deciding doubles match still being contested, the top-seeded Bulldogs and No. 2 Chavez simply ran out of daylight.
The match is scheduled to resume Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., resuming the No. 1 doubles match with Golden Valley’s Eduardo Garcia and Juan Sanchez leading the Titans’ Xavier Cibrian and Alan Menchaca 4-3. Cibrian was serving, leading 30-love when the action was stopped.
“The decision is made by some administrator or an athletic director,” Bulldogs coach Fred Kumpel said. “I’m not exactly sure who makes the official decision, but as far as I’m concerned, once the kids say that they cannot see the ball, we have a safety issue and that’s the end of it.”
Play began to stall during the No. 4 singles play when Golden Valley’s Louis Rocha and Ignacio Perez battled through two long sets, complete with tiebreakers, before Rocha finally ended things with a 6-2 victory in the deciding third set.
Doubles play started about 20 minutes prior to the end of that completion, and the closely-contested matches followed.
The No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches each went to three sets, with the Bulldogs only needing to win one of the three to earn the section title.
“It’s a really close match, very evenly matched between these two teams,” Chavez coach Janno Rojas said. “I’m happy with the way that every player is playing hard and going for every ball. And it all comes down to one match … so it’s exciting.”
The Bulldogs won two of the first three singles matches and looked ready to take a fourth when Rocha led 5-2 in the second set after winning the opener 7-6 (7-5) in a tiebreaker. But Perez, who rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the first match to force a tiebreaker, duplicated the feat in the second set. Only this time, Perez controlled play in the tiebreaker to even the match at one set apiece.
But Rocha, who was complaining of a stomach and knee pain most of the match, fought through it and closed things out to give his team a 4-2 advantage heading into doubles play.
Now both teams will have to try to rekindle things Tuesday, with a section title on the line.
“When we warm up tomorrow, we’re going to get into the groove and we’re going to try to win it,” Rojas said. “We’re going to see. The best team wins.”