Photo By: Bill Wong/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos tennis players Spencer Simonides, left, and Anthony Bello flank coach Bill Wong after they won the CCS doubles title.
Height is not only helpful in basketball, but also in tennis – as Los Altos High’s Anthony Bello and Spencer Simonides proved last week.
The 6-foot-4 Bello and 6-5 Simonides used their superior size to repeat as Central Coast Section doubles champs.
“When the oppositions started to lob, they managed to hit overheads away with their height advantages,” Eagles coach Bill Wong said.
Bello and Simonides – who played No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, during the regular season and team playoffs – didn’t lose a set in the CCS individual tournament, held May 14 and 15 at Imperial Courts in Aptos.
In the final, the top-seeded seniors defeated Valley Christian’s Bryce McElvie and Bernardo de la Cabada 6-4, 6-2.
“They both served and volleyed well (May 15),” Wong said of his players, both headed for Pomona College in the fall.
That midseason sweep of Mitty didn’t do much for Mountain View in last week’s rematch with the Central Coast Section Division I title on the line.
The Monarchs brought out the broom May 14, stunning the top-seeded Spartans 28-26, 25-19, 26-24 at Independence High.
In comparing this match to the previous meeting, Mountain View coach M. Anthony Chen said, “the last time we came from behind twice to pull out the victory. This time, on a bigger stage, it was Mitty that executed.”
Logan Allen was the lone Spartan to reach double digits in kills, totaling 10; Ryan McLaughlin was next with eight.
Chen, who goes by MAC, said the match “came down to executing.” After failing to close out the tight first set, Mountain View struggled in the second until making a late run that proved too little, too late. The Spartans fell behind in the third set as well, but rallied to take a 24-20 lead. They then missed a serve that would have clinched the game, and second-seeded Mitty reeled off six straight points for the win.
“Yes, (it was) a tough, frustrating loss, but it does not diminish how proud I am of my boys and their efforts this season,” said MAC, whose team lost for only the second time this year.
But the season didn’t end there for Mountain View. The Spartans (28-2) qualified for the inaugural Northern California playoffs, scheduled to begin Tuesday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline).
After back-to-back second-place finishes, Los Altos Hills resident Andrew Buchanan is shooting for first in the final two postseason events of the year.
“One of my goals entering high school was to win each level – the CCS regional, the CCS championships, NorCal and state,” said the Menlo School senior, who tied for second at the section championships last week and at the regional the week before. “I’ve won the first two (last year), and now I hope to win the last two.”
The first of the remaining tournaments – the Northern California championships – was scheduled Monday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) at Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club in Patterson.
While Buchanan, who has battled a back injury the past month, wouldn’t guarantee a win, he expected to at least qualify for the state championships. The top nine individuals and top three teams advance to the tourney, slated June 5 at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel.
“Normally, anything under par (is good enough to qualify), and I feel pretty confident I can do that,” he said. “But I want to go as low as possible to see if I can win it.”
Buchanan, who declared his back “fully healthy,” shot a 2-under-par 69 at the CCS championships May 14 at Rancho Cañada Golf Club in Carmel.
“I hit the ball pretty consistently, but I didn’t putt that great,” he said. “It was a good round, but I can definitely improve for NorCal.”