Despite missing a trio of players including its top seed, the Menlo boys’ tennis team captured its fourth consecutive Nor Cals championship after defeating Monte Vista-Danville, then Bellarmine 5-2 on Saturday.
The Knights wrap up an incredible season in which they won the National Invitational state tournament , won the Central Coast Section title and now, NorCals– going 28-0.
“We were short-handed, but they still came through,” Menlo Coach Bill Shine said about three juniors whol had to stay back to take the SAT, a make-up exam scheduled after Palo Alto High had to cancel the original test May 5 when a school-wide alarm forced evacuation of classrooms shortly after students had begun testing.
“They were phenomenal.”
After the win, the Knights headed back to the area –with the trifecta complete - so some could make prom, others to a freshman overnighter and a few to another tournament.
Menlo handily defeated Monte Vista Christian of Danville 7-0 before facing Bellarmine. The Knights topped the Bells earlier this season 6-1 with nearly their full team in place.
On Saturday, it was Menlo’s Richard Pham who defeated Trevor James 7-5, 7-5 at the top singles spot. Senior Justin Chan, who is headed to Dartmouth, won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2. Menlo freshman Victor Pham fell 7-5, 6-3, but sophomore David Ball picked up a 7-5, 6-0 victory at fourth singles.
“I thought David Ball at No. 4 singles had a huge match,” Shine said. “The top singles were on top of their game, then the doubles clinched it for us.”
Menlo juniors Michael Hoffman and William Boyd sealed the NorCals victory with a 7-5, 6-4 win. Vikram Chari and Zach Chase, a senior, wrapped up a 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 decision at No. 2 doubles and Ryan Miller and Gunther Matta fell 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
at Natomas Raquet Club
Menlo 5, Bellarmine 2
Singles -- R. Pham (M) d. James 7-5, 7-5; Chan (M) d. Shankar 6-4, 6-1; Wadswani (B) d. V. Pham 7-5, 6-3; D. Ball (M) d. Chua 7-5, 6-0. Doubles -- Hoffman-Boyd (M) d. Chandani-Chung 7-5, 6-4; Chari-Chase (M) d. Tashjian-Standifer 5-7, 6-1, 6-0; McGrath-Hrinckx (B) d. Miller-Matta 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.