Clovis News: Sports

Champs repeat in section tennis finals

VISALIA -- For the second straight year, El Diamante High and Clovis West owned the top spots at the Central Section individual boys tennis championships.

El Diamante's Ryan Andrada, the No. 1 seed for the tournament, outlasted Daymon Johnson of East 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to repeat as singles champion.

Andrada won the first game of the third set by making one of the better plays of the day, returning a powerful overhand shot from Johnson despite dropping his racket, and then adding a backhand shot that snuck right inside the line for game point.

Andrada would go on to take a 4-0 lead in the set.

Johnson still answered to win the next two points to cut into Andrada's advantage. But with the momentum shifting toward Johnson, Andrada battled through six deuces to win the game and grab a 5-2 lead.

"I knew I had to win it. There was a lot of momentum going for him," Andrada said.

Andrada broke Johnson's serve on the ensuing point to win the match.

"It feels really good to defend," Andrada said. "It was tough with the heat, but I gave it all I had in the third set."

Andrada defeated Bakersfield Christian's Sullivan Roche 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals, and Johnson breezed by Central Valley Christian's Andrew Gong 6-0, 6-0.

Clovis West's Stefan Loop, a year after winning the section doubles championship with teammate Vince Paganetti, teamed up with Adam Beach to win this year's final 6-1, 6-1 against Central's Javier Padilla and Kyle Vo, the tournament's No. 6 seed.

Loop and Beach, seeded No. 1, found easy sailing on their way to the title. They dominated Stockdale's Riley Heffernan and Charles Tamer 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals.

"We knew we had it. We just had to stay focused, intense and play solid," Loop said.

Padilla and Vo conquered their second straight higher-seeded opponent to reach the final, upsetting No. 2 seed Michael Rice/Eric Kong of Liberty-Bakersfield 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the semifinals.

"It was a good time and a challenge," Padilla said. "We worked as a team and had a lot of fun."