Making it to Playoffs

The boys tennis team and their overall season

by Leslie Arellano (Staff Writer) – 5/13/15

Ryan Inton playing hard during a game
Ryan Inton playing hard during a game

Two years ago, Craig Raub led the mens tennis team into playoffs, winning the finals. Since he retired, Coach William “Bill” Vogel has led this team. Through the struggles of finding enough members to complete the mens tennis team each year and preparing them for their season, this year he has successfully led these men into playoffs, advancing as far as the semifinals.

The season started in February of this year. In total they had 13 guys on their team: 10 varsity and three on the junior varsity. They played five different schools (not including their pre-season games) including Reseda, Sylmar, Fulton, Sherman Oaks, and Van Nuys; finished the regular season with the record of 9-1, only losing to Van Nuys once.

Playoff season began on Monday, April 13 with the boys in the sixth seed of division one. Their first game was against Chatsworth High School. To advance, they had to win at least 15 points, which they did. Junior Allan Albrego said, “In regular season, if you’re in one of the four singles players, you go against one of their four singles players depending on your position. In doubles you play against one of their doubles team depending on your position and you play best two out of three games. Here, doubles must play against all of their doubles team, and you only play one game against each making it more of a challenge and time consuming.” Albrego admitted to being somewhat nervous at first, but with the help of his doubles partner, Ryan Inton, he was able to calm down.

On April 15, the mens tennis team went against one of their biggest rivals in regular season, Van Nuys. When playing against them during their actual season, Kennedy was able to defeat them the first time 4-3. In their next match against each other, Van Nuys was able to beat them 2-5. Senior and captain Joey Tcherne explained, “This was a very important game in both season and playoffs. This school determined if we continued in playoffs or not, and in season what ranking we could get.”

Junior Andres Jarrin described this as “avenging the team.” This game was extremely important and after hours of playing, Kennedy’s tennis team won 15 points – 14.5 points, barely beating them and advancing to semifinals.

On April 17, Kennedy High School went against Granada High School in the semifinals. This match determined who would continue on to the finals, and in the end, who would potentially win over all. Kennedy’s tennis team did not beat Granada’s tennis team, but they did go farther than they ever hoped for. Sophomore Neiman De Fuentes stated, “This season went great. We may have lost, but we all have improved tremendously, and that’s something to be proud of.”

Sophomore George Vardanyan also said, “This is the best season I’ve had yet. It’s somewhat disappointing that we lost, but we worked hard and succeeded in making it to playoffs.”

Although Kennedy did not make it to the finals, some of the team’s players made it to individual playoffs. Those players included: seniors Ryan Inton, Joey Tcherne, Meljonn Vallirosa, and sophomore George Vardanyan. For the rest of the players the season has ended with all their hard work paying off.