Mountain View High’s John Rado was at a distinct disadvantage, height-wise, when he took the court against Fremont’s Rick Zheng last week.
But this was boys tennis – not basketball – and Rado found a way to beat a player at least 10 inches taller than him to win the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division singles title April 25.
In what Spartans coach Frank Smyth called a “David and Goliath matchup” – noting that Rado is approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and Zheng stands taller than 6-foot-4 – the Mountain View senior prevailed 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
The players split their two regular-season matches, but junior Zheng entered the two-day league tourney as the top seed and Rado was No. 2. The final took place just 30 minutes after Rado struggled to defeat Lynbrook’s Ryan Yoon, a player he swept in the regular season, in a three-set semifinal match.
“But in the final, John seemed to step up his performance, hitting to the corners regularly and coming to net with confidence,” Smyth said.
Rado advances to the Central Coast Section individual tournament, set to begin May 15 at Imperial Courts in Aptos. Mountain View, which finished third in the El Camino Division at 8-4, was not expected to make the CCS team playoffs that start today.
Los Altos enters this final week of the regular season undefeated in the SCVAL El Camino Division at 10-0.
The Eagles, who topped Gunn and Leland last week, were slated to host Hillsdale Monday (after the Town Crier’s deadline) before visiting Saratoga 7 p.m. today.
Seven players scored in Los Altos’ 15-8 win at Gunn April 23. Connor Quinn, Hayden Hofmann and Tripp Crissman led the way with three goals each. Goalie Nate Geiger made 10 saves.
Quinn racked up seven goals in Friday’s 12-2 rout of Leland. Geiger recorded eight saves for the visiting Eagles (10-2 overall).
In what coach Bill Kurz called his team’s “worst loss of the year,” Mountain View fell 18-11 to Menlo-Atherton April 24 in SCVAL De Anza Division play.
Kurz said the visiting Spartans “came out and played really well to start the game” and trailed 4-3 after one quarter. But the first-place Bears built a 9-6 lead by halftime and entered the fourth quarter with a 15-8 advantage.
Colin Murray totaled four goals to pace Mountain View (5-4 league, 6-5 overall); Sam Kramer added two goals and four assists.
Avenging a 10-0 home loss to Thomas More the day before, Pinewood beat the Knights 5-1 April 25 in San Jose to tie them for first place in the Private School Athletic League South Division. If Pinewood (5-1 league) and More (6-1) win their remaining league games, the Panthers would advance to the CCS playoffs due to their tiebreaker advantage.
Jackson Haun pitched five strong innings last week to earn the win for Pinewood (7-3 overall). The senior struck out five and allowed just two hits and one run. He helped his cause by driving in a run and scoring another.
Bo Fick had three hits, an RBI and scored a run for the Panthers.
More entered the game 18-0.
Los Altos’ losing streak stretched to six games with Saturday’s 12-7 setback against Leigh.
The host Eagles out-hit the Longhorns 16-14 in the non-league game, but they “sealed their doom by leaving 14 runners stranded, while Leigh capitalized on their opportunities,” coach Gabe Stewart said.
Ryan Baum and Zach Fuchs each drove in a pair of runs for Los Altos (13-12 overall).
Earlier in the week, the Eagles dropped both of their league games against Los Gatos to slip to sixth in the De Anza Division at 4-8.
Visiting Los Altos fell 4-3 in the April 25 opener, despite a solid outing from Alex Reelfs (eight strikeouts) and three hits by Fuchs.
The Eagles lost Friday’s home game 3-2, unable to get a hit until the seventh frame when Reelfs singled. Colin Homan’s double put runners on second and third, and Aaron Parker drove them home with a triple.
Baum went the distance for Los Altos, scattering seven hits.
Mountain View capped a 3-0 week by mauling Milpitas 13-3 Friday. Rani Lauwers drove in five runs on three hits for the visiting Spartans, who entered this week tied with Los Gatos for first in the De Anza Division at 7-1.
Two days earlier, Maddy Garcia pitched a complete game to lead Mountain View to a 3-0 home win over Santa Clara. She allowed just three hits and struck out four in the league game.
The Spartans started the week by edging Monterey 3-2 in non-league play April 23. Bryce Boyle’s full-count single in the sixth broke the 2-all tie. She finished 3-for-4 at the plate. Simiran Lauwers earned the win, striking out seven, walking one and surrendering five hits.
Mountain View finished its season with a 207-217 loss to Gunn April 25 at Shoreline Golf Links. Michael Deklerk shot an even-par 36 to pace the Spartans (0-11-1 De Anza Division).
For the second week in a row, Los Altos handily beat St. Francis and Mountain View at a six-team meet. The Eagles won the April 25 competition at San Bruno’s Gymtowne Gymnastics with a score of 152.200; St. Francis placed second (137.450) and Mountain View took third (132.400).
Los Altos’ Kelli Kuramoto placed first all-around (38.800) by winning three of the four events: the vault (9.800), balance beam (9.700) and floor exercise (9.700). Teammates Courtney Krauss (38.250) and Emma Tsao (37.950) came in second and fourth all-around, respectively.
Mountain View’s Cindy Linker placed third all-around (38.150) and St. Francis’ Hannah Lei was 10th (36.750).
Track and field
Host St. Francis crushed Sacred Heart Cathedral in Thursday’s West Catholic Athletic League dual meet. The boys prevailed 118-18 and the girls won 111-18.
Travis Bell-Dzide won the boys 110- and 300-meter hurdles for the Lancers.
The girls had three double-winners: Kaley Peterson (100 and 200 dashes) Sophia Sapp (shot put and discus) and Camille Esterlechner (long jump and triple jump).