BTen: Perera repeats, Lender-Rodnick take doubles at Channel League Championships

Channel League singles champion Kento Perera blasts a forehand on Thursday. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Channel League singles champion Kento Perera blasts a forehand on Thursday. (Presidio Sports Photos)

 

The cold weather didn’t put a chill on the competition at the Channel League Tennis Championships on Thursday as the final matches were played at the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara under grey sky.

San Marcos sophomore Kento Perera repeated as singles champion while the Santa Barbara High doubles team of Logan Lender and Jordan Rodnick won a hard-fought semifinal before taking the title match in straight sets.

Perera topped fellow Royal Lars Scannell 6-1, 6-3.

“I was playing a teammate, you know, so it wasn’t easy but we both had a lot of fun in this match and I feel like we took it seriously and we both played a good match,” Perera said.

Perera has been on his own level in the Channel League since entering high school. In two seasons he has yet to lose a single set.

“I knew it was going to be tough. It was just fun to play against him in the finals and have two San Marcos players in the finals, that was really cool,” Scannell said.

Perera and Scannell spent most of their time on the baseline. When needed Perera was effective at the net and kept Scannell off balance during his trips to the net with a variety of passing shots and lobs.

San Marcos senior Lars Scannell faced Kento Perera in the singles final.

San Marcos senior Lars Scannell faced Kento Perera in the singles final.

Scannell, a senior, reached the final as the sixth seed.

“I definitely played my best tennis this tournament in all my matches I played,” he said.

In the doubles final, Rodnick and Lender defeated Tyler Greenwald and Taggart Mills 6-2, 6-1. Rodnick and Lender’s win in the semifinals over Dos Pueblos’ Miles Baldwin and Joshua Wang was the match of the tournament. The Dons won 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 and the third-set tiebreaker was decided 9-7 after the Santa Barbara team fought off a match point a few points earlier.

A large crowd watched courtside.

“There was a lot of pressure so it was great that we kept focus through the whole match and then came out with the win,” Lender said.

The other doubles semifinal wasn’t even played because of injury default.

Unseasonably cold temperatures and a rain delay were a part of the day’s action. The final points of the third-set tiebreaker in the doubles semifinal was played in a steady drizzle that turned to legitimate rain on the final point. Perera and Scannell stopped their match at that point, with the score 3-1 in the first set, and returned to the court 25 minutes later.

Because the doubles semifinal match had ended, Perera and Scannell switched to Court 1 when returning from the delay.

“That was a little weird because of the delay and everything,” Perera said. “I just put on a jacket and warmups. There’s nothing you can do about that.”

Each of the finalists in singles and doubles qualify for the CIF Individual Tournament.

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