Boys tennis dominates Fullerton 15-3 to hold on to first place in Freeway League


Kristel Laceste

The Lancers’ No. 1 singles player, sophomore Carson Lee, returns a serve with a forehand during a 6-0 victory over Fullerton’s No. 1 singles player, junior Nathaniel Lee. Carson Lee would win all of his three sets, which contributed to a 15-3 Lancers victory over the Indians on April 8.

Minjeong Kim, Feature Editor

After upsetting rival and defending Freeway League champion Troy April 1, the Sunny Hills boys tennis team could have had a letdown in its ensuing matches.

But instead, the Lancers (4-0) have gone on a two-match winning streak, defeating Sonora (1-3) April 6 at home and Fullerton (1-3) at home two days later – both by the same 15-3 margin – and maintaining its first-place stronghold in the Freeway League as the only undefeated team.

“I’m not surprised that we played well after Troy because this boys tennis team loves to play tennis, and they have a lot of pride in playing hard each match,” boys tennis head coach Christopher Ghareebo said. “From the start of the season, I’ve tried to have them adopt the mentality that every point matters, and I’m glad to see them respond well to this team mentality.”

Ghareebo pointed to his No. 1 singles player, sophomore Carson Lee, in setting the tone for his squad as Lee won all three of his matches, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and has yet to lose a set to any of his opponents in the Freeway League.

“I expected Carson to win 3-0 today, which he did very easily,” the coach said. “It’s looking like he’s absolutely on a whole other level this year, and I expect him to continue dominating other schools and becoming our MVP in the Freeway League tournaments and California Interscholastic Federation [CIF playoffs].” 

One of the three points the Lancers gave away to the Indians came from a 1-6 loss by the team’s No. 2 singles player, junior Daniel Lee, who played against Fullerton’s No. 1 singles player, Nathaniel Lee.

“I think I missed a lot of shots that were easy because I was dealing with very sweaty hands and a very slippery grip,” said Daniel Lee, who compensated for that defeat with a 6-2 win in his second match against No. 1 singles player sophomore Nicholas Vo. “However, I personally think the game went pretty good besides the unforced errors I made, and I definitely enjoyed playing tennis today.”

In addition to the Lancers’ singles players recording a 6-3 advantage in set victories over the Indians, No. 1 doubles players freshman Nevin McCann and sophomore Owen Taylor shut out  Fullerton’s No. 1 doubles team, 6-0. Because Fullerton forfeited its sets from its Nos. 2 and 3 doubles teams because of the lack of players, each of Sunny Hills’ three doubles squads only played one set, dismantling Fullerton’s remaining doubles players, 9-0.

“I didn’t know what to expect when coach put us together for doubles since I don’t play as much doubles as I do singles,” McCann said about his pairing with Taylor. “But we’ve been doing great all season, and I think it’s because we have the same thinking by process and work together in the most efficient way.”

With the squad’s next away match coming up Tuesday, April 13, against La Habra (0-4), Ghareebo said he hopes the Lancers will focus more on consistency to clean up their unforced errors and other mistakes like double faults.

“The boys have all the skills so now the next step is to refine them and get them to be more consistent with their overall games,” Ghareebo said. “If we do that, I’m very confident that not only we will win the Freeway League [title], but we’re going to do very well in CIF [playoffs].”