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Wildcats get it done, beat Skyhawks on games won


Westview's boys beat Southridge 89-82 in Metro League action

ROCK CREEK — The only surprise at Monday's Southridge at Westview boys tennis match is that anyone was surprised by just how close it was.by: MILES VANCE - BIG FOREHAND - Westview sophomore Avi Vemuri makes a return in his first singles match loss to Southridge's Andy Nakajima on Monday afternoon at Westview High School.

The Skyhawks stepped up to win three of the day's four singles matches and also the top doubles match, but it still wasn't enough. Westview answered with wins in three of four doubles matches and one singles match, tied the Skyhawks in sets won and secured its victory with an 89-82 edge in games won.

The victory lifted Westview's Metro League record to 3-3 and kept it in fourth place, while the Skyhawks fell to 2-5 and a fifth-place tie with Beaverton.

“I was thinking we might win ... but we were missing one of our key players and some matches didn't go how we wanted so I was getting a little concerned,” said Westview sophomore Avi Vemuri, who dropped a straight-set decision at first singles.

“We knew we had a chance of taking these guys down so we just tried to stay relaxed and have some fun,” said Southridge junior Andy Nakajima, the day's winner at first singles. “It doesn't get much better than that.”

by: MILES VANCE - STEP UP - Southridge junior Andy Nakajima gets up to make a shot in his first singles win over Avi Vemuri on Monday.

The Wildcats ruled the day in doubles, and their success there paved the way to their eventual team victory, winning three of four matches, six of eight sets and posting a 37-25 edge in games. Westview's doubles wins came at second doubles, where Jack Peplinski and Arjun Kandaswamy swept past Omeed Habibelahian and Eric Seo 6-3, 7-5, at third doubles where Rushil Patel and teammate Adarsh Patra knocked off Brandon Irving and Naveed Habibelahian 6-4, 6-3, and at No. 4 where Adarsh Bhatt and Wrik Sinha muscled past Southridge's Brandon Kirlin and Sean Lee 6-1, 6-1.

The Cats' other win came at fourth singles where Brian Park battled past Hunter Giles in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

For their part, the Skyhawks won most of the day's marquee matches, taking the top three singles battles and also the No. 1 doubles match, but failing to win enough sets and games along the way for a team victory.

At first singles, Nakajima beat Vemuri 6-2 in their first set, then posted a 7-6 win in the second set that came with a 9-7 win in the tiebreaker.

“We never have any blowouts between us. I've known him for a few years and it's never an easy match against him,” Nakajima said. “Lately in high school, I haven't had too much luck with him so this is a good step for me and my journey to make it to state this year.”

“He's gotten a lot better,” Vemuri said. “Last year, when we had long points, I usually had the advantage, but I wouldn't say that's true this year. He's a lot fitter. He's playing the long points a lot better.”

Besides that win, Southridge's Sachin Sakthievel outlasted Nikita Ivanov 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at second singles, and Skyhawk Nate Gangelhoff swept James Preston 6-4, 6-3. The Hawks' other win came at first doubles where Joaquin Sabarots and Ashwin Swaminathan knocked off Shishir Madari and Kevin Wang 6-4, 6-4.

In upcoming matches, Westview will host Lincoln at 4:30 p.m. Monday, and will play at Beaverton at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Southridge will play at Sunset at 4:30 p.m. Monday and hosts Jesuit at Camille Park at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

To see a complete photo gallery from this match, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.