Sports

Los Altos tennis team closes in on league title with 5-2 home win over rival Mountain View


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Kylie Akiyama won in straight sets at No. 2 singles last week against rival Mountain View.

The Los Altos High girls tennis team all but clinched the league title with last week’s 5-2 win over Mountain View.

The Eagles improved to 8-0 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division with four matches remaining, while the second-place Spartans sank to 6-2. All of Los Altos’ wins came in straight sets Oct. 10.

“I’m proud of my girls,” Eagles coach Hung Nguyen said. “They played well.”

Los Altos now holds the tiebreaker over Mountain View – which it beat by the same score last month – and defeated its remaining opponents 5-2 or better the first time around.

Of the foes left on the schedule, third-place Gunn is the “only true test,” Nguyen said. Los Altos is slated to visit the Titans – a team it topped 5-2 last month – 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Although only the El Camino Division champ is assured a spot in the Central Coast Section playoffs, the Eagles appear to have enough wins (13-1 overall) to land an at-large berth even if they falter down the stretch.

“I can’t wait to see how we do in CCS this year,” said Nguyen, whose team nabbed an at-large bid last year and lost in the second round. “We have a pretty strong team. The balance has helped a lot – and the versatility, too.”

Both elements came into play last week against Mountain View. Because No. 1 singles player Yuu Ishikawa competed in a national tournament a few days earlier, the coach moved her to doubles. The freshman teamed with junior Krithika Nathamuni at the top spot, where they won convincingly.

“They played a pretty good team,” Nguyen said. “It’s great that all my singles players can play doubles.”

Los Altos also prevailed at No. 3 doubles with freshmen Hannah Ghaffari and Maya Atassi.

“I’m excited about them,” Nguyen said. “They’re a big part of our future.”

Ghaffari’s big sister, senior Nadia, won a shortened match at No. 1 singles; Alena Pruett retired after four games “due to a painful shoulder,” Mountain View coach Frank Smyth said.

The injury-plagued Spartans defaulted at No. 4 singles because they didn’t have anyone available.

Los Altos’ other win came at No. 3 singles, courtesy of sophomore Kylie Akiyama.

Mountain View triumphed at No. 2 singles, where freshman Dasha Terson cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win. The Spartans’ other victory came from the No. 2 doubles team of Emma Ukrainczyk and Saila Khuntia.

Smyth said Mountain View “would have a slim chance to get in” CCS by winning its four remaining matches to finish with an 11-3 overall record.

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