NCS team tennis playoffs: seedings, pairings

Here are the NCS team tennis playoff matchups.
All matches start at 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s first round
No. 16 Arroyo at No. 1 Dougherty Valley
No. 9 Miramonte at No. 8 Amador Valley
No. 13 Heritage at No. 4 Foothill
No. 12 Berkeley at No. 5 Tamalpais-Mill Valley
No. 2 Acalanes at No. 15 Sonoma Valley
No. 10 De La Salle vs. No. 7 Monte Vista, at Saint Mary’s College
No. 13 College Park at No. 3 James Logan
No. 11 California at No. 6 Redwood
Tuesday’s first round
No. 1 College Prep, bye
No. 9 Hercules vs. No. 8 Marin Academy, at Marin Tennis Club
No. 13 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 4 International-S.F., at Albany HS Memorial Park
No. 12 Northcoast Prep vs. No. 5 University-S.F., at Golden Gate Park
No. 15 Urban-S.F. vs. No. 2 Lick-Wilmerding, at City College of San Francisco
No. 10 Branson vs. No. 7 Marin Catholic, at Terra Linda HS
No. 14 Moreau Catholic at No. 3 Piedmont
No. 11 Athenian at No. 6 Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa


NCS boys team tennis playoff brackets

Here are the North Coast Section boys team tennis playoff brackets, which were determined Saturday

Tuesday’s first round
No. 16 College Park (9-1) at No. 1 Dougherty Valley (13-0), 3:30 p.m.
No. 9 Redwood-Larkspur (15-8) at No. 8 Alameda (19-2-1), 3:30 p.m.
No. 13 Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa (14-0) at No. 4 Tamalpais-Mill Valley (20-3), 3:30 p.m.
No. 5 Monte Vista (17-4) at No. 12 Heritage (16-1), 3:30 p.m.
No. 15 San Leandro (10-5) at No. 2 San Ramon Valley (17-3), 3:30 p.m.
No. 10 De La Salle (14-10) at No. 7 James Logan (17-5), 3:30 p.m.
No. 3 Acalanes (15-5) at No. 14 Analy-Sebastopol (15-0), 3:30 p.m.
No. 11 California (12-7) at No. 6 Miramonte (13-5), 3:30 p.m.
No. 1 Piedmont (17-4-1) at No. 8 Fortuna (12-2), 3:30 p.m.
No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd (12-9-2) vs. No. 4 Lick Wilmerding-S.F. (16-5) at CCSF, 3:30 p.m.
No. 7 Anderson Valley (15-1) vs. No. 2 Branson-Ross (17-3) at College of Marin, 3:30 p.m.
No. 6 St. Mary’s (15-4) vs. No. 3 College Prep (14-1) at Chabot Canyon Raquet Club, 3:30 p.m.



There’s only one Tu

Anyone who appreciates tennis had to appreciate the play of Alameda High School senior Thai Tu this year. Earlier this month, he captured the second North Coast Section singles title of his career, after having also won as a sophomore two seasons ago. He also was part of NCS doubles championships as a freshman and junior, giving him a title in each of his four years at Alameda High. In addition to this individual successes, he also helped the Hornets win the NCS team title in 2007 and to finish second this year. But the titles only tell part of the story. When watching Tu play, it quickly becomes apparent that he is well schooled in the game. He reads an opponent’s return superbly and is always in the right position to get to the ball. Other players run frantically around their court, but Tu is the model of efficiency, getting the best results while expending much less energy than the average player. Tu moves on to Cal in the fall, and the Bears will be getting an outstanding player. As for high school tennis, the NCS might not see anyone of Tu’s ilk for some time.


No happy medium

Most high school sports consist of the the top talents, the middle tier and the also-rans.  When covering tennis, it becomes clear that the middle ground is small, maybe even nonexistent. In this sport, either the players have it or they don’t. A match either is very good or very poor. I am at a loss, though, to explain why this is.


Photos of the week

We’re back with even more action-packed photos from the week that was. Check it all out below.

Photos of the Week

P.S. Check out Jose Carlos Fajardo’s photo slideshows from the USA Rugby Championships. Cal defeated St. Mary’s and BYU to win another national title. There are a ton of locals playing for Cal these days so check out the galleries. You may see someone you know!


St. Mary’s goes “Guarani” 20 years later

In 1987, Paraguayan tennis fans stormed the court after their team upset the United States in Davis Cup competition. The television images from Asuncion showed a frenzy and eurphoria one would expect to see at a soccer match or maybe a basketball game. But tennis?
Though the Bay Shore Athletic League boys tennis playoffs aren’t exactly the Davis Cup, the reaction of the St. Mary’s High School team at the end of the championship doubles match on April 25 at Alameda’s Harbor Bay Club brought those 20-year-old scenes to mind.
You see, the Panthers’ top-seeded doubles team of Scott Leong and Ed Califano had just secured the league title by beating Piedmont’s second-seeded Elliot Marks and P.D. Castagnozzi-Bush. Within seconds, St. Mary’s teammates threw open the gate and rushed the court to greet, congratulate and celebrate with Leong and Califano. High-fives, hollers and hugs were the order of the day for the Panthers, a joyful deviation from the typically staid world of tennis.
Tennis is a fine sport. But it has conventions most unusual to someone more accustomed to the more typical “stadium” sports (e.g., football, baseball, soccer, basketball, even volleyball) where fans react during the run of play with no fear of cold stares or angry retorts for the slightest blink of an eye or move of a muscle. The Panthers’ reaction, like that in Asuncion two decades ago, was a reminder of what tennis can be – – a sport to cherish, cheer and enjoy to the fullest.