TEN: Depth is key in Dons’ second-round victory

The depth of the Santa Barbara High tennis lineup made the difference in Friday’s 10-8 win over Viewpoint in the second round of the CIF Division 1 playoffs.

The Dons’ got four wins from their Nos. 2 and 3 doubles teams (Jack Damen-Mitchell Kuhn and Jordan Rodnick-Austin Trevillian) and No. 3 singles player Jackson Powell pulled out a tough 7-5 set and took four games off Viewpoint’s hard-hitting No. 1 singles player Darius McKenzie.

Those results gave Santa Barbara (16-3) a big boost against the visitors from Calabasas.

The win sets up a quarterfinal date with nemesis Palos Verdes on Monday at the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara has lost its last three meetings against the Sea Kings, including a playoff match last year that was decided on games.

“We have a good rivalry with them,” Santa Barbara coach Greg Tebbe said.

Tebbe was especially pleased to see Powell come through on Friday.

“It was a great day for Jackson,” the coach said. “He’s been struggling the past week with his confidence — everybody on our team goes through peaks and valleys with their confidence. That first match was key for him (a 7-5 win over Charlie Worman). That was a pressure match, that player was tough, didn’t make errors. Jackson held it together and eked out a really close match, 7-5, and he was down 5-4. That got his confidence up. Against their two better players he played really well and he played them close, that was great to see. We’re going to need that in our next round.”

In the battle of No. 1 players, Santa Barbara’s Graham Maassen lost a 6-3 slugfest with Viewpoint’s No. 1 Darius McKenzie, who spends time in Santa Barbara and at times practices with Maassen.

“I’ve played him a lot and I know his game pretty well,” Maassen said. “We normally go back and forth. He got the better of me today.”

Maassen said he improved on his timing in his other two sets (6-4, 6-3 wins) and understood the importance of not dwelling on the loss.

“I knew my team needed me to get those wins,” he said.

Maassen expected Viewpoint to be a tough opponent because it had some tournament-test players. He noted Santa Barbara’s depth would make the difference in the match.

“I knew we would get a good foundation of points because they fall off toward the end of their lineup; their doubles is not as strong as ours,” he said. “We got six (points) from our doubles, which is a good foundation to work off of.”

Santa Barbara 10
Singles—Graham Maassen 2-1, Ryan Chung 1-2, Jackson Powell 1-2.
Doubles—Morgan Hale-Avery Chernin 2-1, Jack Damen-Mitchell Kuhn 2-1, Jordan Rodnick-Austin Trevillian 2-1.

Viewpoint 8.
Singles—Darius McKenzie 2-1, Julian Bordy 2-1, Charlie Worman 0-3.
Doubles—Jeremy Wacker-Jonathan Star 3-0, Jake Bieber-Charlie Hollingsworth 0-3, Aaron Girard-Brendon Garber 0-3.