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Vista tennis team opens league play with two wins

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The Vista del Lago boys’ tennis team started the Capital Athletic League season on the right foot with two victories in two matches.

On March 14, the Eagles opened CAL play with a 9-0 road win against El Camino, then followed last Thursday with a 7-2 win over visiting Christian Brothers.

“We’re looking pretty sharp, but we won’t really know where we stand until we play Rio Americano and Mira Loma,” Vista coach Marc Erwin said. “Rio’s the defending section champion and always tough, and Mira Loma has top-quality players.”

The Eagles (3-3 overall, 2-0 CAL) have some pretty good players as well. An infusion of talented freshmen are mixing well with the veterans. Ian Ng is playing No. 1, Samyak Surti is at No. 3 and Deeraj Gurram is at No. 6. All three freshmen won their opening  matches.

Surti was especially dominant, winning 6-0, 6-0 against El Camino and 6-3, 6-0 against Christian Brothers.

“My serve is really strong right now,” Surti said. “I’m placing it where I want to and getting my opponent to move. The serve is the way I’m able to get the opponent to bend to my will at the beginning of the point.”

Ng also impressed in his two matches, beating El Camino’s Stephen Taylor 6-1, 6-1 and then winning a gritty 6-4, 6-4 decision against CB’s Chris Fong.

“Ian is so darn athletic. You think he’s out of a point, but he chases down every single ball,” Erwin said. “Then he somehow turns those points to his advantage and wins them more often than not. I’m really impressed with his composure for someone so young.”

In doubles, the senior tandem of Victor Fu and Praful Hippargi are undefeated, as are the sophomore team of James Cole and Charles Cao.

“Doubles is going to be key for us this season,” Erwin said. “If those guys continue to improve as the year goes on, we’re going to be just fine.”

The Eagles return to action Tuesday against Casa Roble.