Mira Costa’s boys tennis team repeats as Bay League champions
by Randy Angel
With three Bay League teams ranked in the top 10 in CIF Division 1, league competition among the talented squads will surely prepare players for strong postseason runs.
Mira Costa is ranked No. 3, Palos Verdes is No. 5 and Peninsula is No. 7. Playoff schedules will be released Monday at 11 a.m. at cifss.org.
Mira Costa is coming off its second consecutive Bay League championship and has head coach Joe Ciasulli very optimistic.
This may be the best team ever, although last year’s team was very, very good,” Ciasulli said. “Without question, the Bay League is the strongest tennis league in Southern California, if not the entire country. Not only are all three teams ranked in the top ten, I expect that all three teams will be placed in CIF’s new Open Division. University and Harvard-Westlake may be a cut above, but there is no more competitive league.”
In the Bay League Individual championships played at The Jack Kramer Club on Tuesday, Kyle Sillman defeated his Mira Costa teammate Matthew Poh in the singles final 6-4, 4-6, 11-9. The Palos Verdes duo of Kai Brady/Sean Holt defeated Peninsula’s Stetson Martz/Nabeel Kahn in the doubles final 6-1, 6-1. Brady and Holt advanced by defeating Mira Costa’s team of Ethan Han and Max Weulfing in one semifinal 6-3 and 6-2.
Mira Costa has a number of strong players including Tim Dzhurinskiy, Poh, and Sillman, who have been the stars in singles competition, with Han and Weulfing earning valuable points in doubles.
On Monday, Poh and Sillman advanced to Tuesday’s Bay League finals. Poh reached the finals by defeating Kevin Liu (Peninsula) in one semifinal 6-7(5), 6-2, and 10-8. Sillman advanced by defeating his teammate Weulfing in the other semifinal 7-5 and 6-2. This is the first time in program history that both finalists at Bay League Individuals were from Mira Costa.
Prior to the postseason, Mira Costa players will compete in the Ojai Valley Tournament this weekend.
“Tim Dzhurinskiy is playing singles and Matthew Poh/Kyle Sillman are playing doubles at the Ojai Tennis Tournament,” Ciasulli said. “The Ojai Tennis Tournament is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the country and the oldest tennis tournament in the country west of the Mississippi, dating back to 1887. Past winners include numerous tennis icons like Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King and Tracy Austin. Costa’s own Jeff Tarango also won the singles championship at the Ojai Tournament in 1986 and KC Corkery won a doubles title in 2000. I expect Tim and Matthew/Kyle to do very well (hopefully getting to the final day) but, no matter what, it will be a great tennis experience.”