Published : Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 12:17 PM
The challenge facing the Minutemen was already of large proportions, having never beaten the CIF-SS Div. 2 Temple City Rams in the modern era. Without #1 doubles specialist, Michael Mathews, the task became nearly insurmountable, as Maranatha would need every point they could get to muster an upset. It was not to be.
The first round could have easily ended in a 3-3 tie or a 4-2 lead, with #3 singles Nico Engling leading, 4-3, and #3 doubles, Kenny Cho and Tim Huang in a tie-breaker after fending off a set-point at 4-5 in the set. In the tie-breaker, Cho and Huang held 4 set points in the see-saw affair, but were not able to convert, eventually losing, 9-11. Engling couldn’t hold on to his lead either, giving up the final 3 games of the set and losing, 4-6.
#2 doubles, Billy Tan and Jake Scott narrowly lost their first set, 4-6, as well, leaving MHS with a deep 1-5 deficit.
The second round also had its opportunities to close the gap, but Minutemen fell short again. The Minutemen won the third round, 4-2, as all 3 singles players, Daniel Guan, JP Collins, and Engling won their sets. Engling defeated a substitute for the Rams’ #1 player. #1 doubles, Matthew Leiva and Jordan Miao lost their final set in a tie-breaker after leading the entire set, while Tan and Scott secured MHS’s only doubles point of the match, playing easily their best tennis of the day and winning, 6-0.
On Thursday, the CIF-SS Div. 4 #2 ranked Minutemen head back to #4 ranked San Gabriel HS to finish their rained out match from March 6. MHS leads 5-1.
Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit www.maranatha-hs.org.