Perera Wins Tennis League Championship
The Boys Tennis team recently wrapped up one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history. The Royals finished with a perfect 15-0 regular season record, made it to the second round of CIF, and repeated for the third straight year as Channel League Champions. Much of the success can be attributed to freshman and number one singles player Masato Perera.
Perera won the Channel League Singles Tournament, dropping only three games on his way to victory. In the first round, Perera beat Lompoc’s Ricardo Garay, then Ryan Belkin of Dos Pueblos, and in the semifinals, he
topped Santa Barbara’s Lucas Pollero, setting up a final match against teammate Dominik Stefanov. Number two seeded Stefanov beat Anthony Espinosa of Lompoc, Dos Pueblos’ Will Steinberg, and freshman teammate Alex Chow on his path to the finals.
“Masato and Dominik were dominant,” said San Marcos coach Jarrod Bradley after the first day of the tournament. “They served aggressively and dictated points early on. It should be an exciting final.”
In the final, Perera defeated Stefanov 6-0, 6-2. After winning the title, Perera joined his siblings, Kento and Yuka, as a Channel League Singles Champion. Kento was a four-time champion while Yuka won the title three times.
“He’s got a lot of heart and is really aggressive,” Stefanov said of Perera after the final. “He’s determined to win.”
In the doubles portion of the Channel League Individual Tournament, juniors Alexi Gill and Bryan Shott reached the finals. Gill and Shott pulled out a competitive 6-4, 6-2 quarterfinal win and in their semifinal match the Royal duo topped Darren Hickens and Ryan Rennick of Santa Ynez. On the other side of the draw, seniors Daniel Newton and Jimmy Wimbish reached the semifinals, falling to Santa Barbara’s Taylor Klein and Mason Lender. Gill and Shott battled the Santa Barbara team in the final but ultimately fell short losing 4-6, 6-3, 1-6.
The day after the Channel League Individual Tournament finals, Masato Perera and the doubles team of Dominik Stefanov and Alexi Gill competed in the historic Ojai Tournament. Perera lost in the first round to Brown-bound Matthew Mu 3-6, 6-4, 2-6. In doubles, Stefanov and Gill won a pair of three-set matches before falling to San Clemente’s Corey Angeli and Griffen Wolfe.
The Royals continued their post-season in the Division 1 CIF draw. In the first round the Royals defeated Newbury Park 11-7. Each singles player won two of three matches, all losing to 97th nationally ranked senior player Wally Thayne. In doubles, the team of Sam Friedman and Dominik Stefanov finished 2-0 and the pairing of Ronin Suzuki and Jimmy Wimbish went 2-1 on the day.
In the second round of CIF play, the Royals fell to a strong Sage Hill team 75-70 in games after tying 9-9 in sets. Masato Perera won his three matches including a 7-6 victory over highly ranked senior player Emin Torlic. The number one doubles team of Alexi Gill and Dominik Stefanov swept their sets 7-6, 6-0, 6-0. Additionally, the duo of Daniel Newton and Jimmy Wimbish won two of their three sets and the team of Bryan Shott and Alex Stefanov added one more win for the Royals. Coach Jarrod Bradley noted that the match included some of the most high level high school tennis he had seen in his 19 years of coaching.
“The match against Sage Hill was really exciting,” said freshman Masato Perera. “We were hoping to make it farther in CIF but it was a great experience. I’m already looking forward to next season.”
After the Royals’ extremely successful season, the team will be losing a total of ten seniors but have talented younger players that are ready to step up. Hopefully, the team will capture their fourth straight league title next year.