Despite Menlo-Atherton's tactic of "stacking" during the match, the Knights prevailed in the first round of the CCS playoffs. Creative Commons Image: Lauren Creamer on Menlo School Flickr.
By Emilio Simbeck
The Menlo varsity boys’ tennis team recently defeated their crosstown rival, the Menlo-Atherton Bears, in the first round of the Central Coast Section, advancing to play in the semi finals later this week.
Menlo came into the tournament as the top seed, whereas the Bears were the lowest seed. Junior No.1 singles player Sid Chari, who recently verbally committed to play tennis at Yale, took part in the most anticipated match of the day against Claremont-McKenna commit Casey Morris. History between the two stars dates back to last year, where Chari narrowly squeaked out a victory in a tiebreaker. This year, Chari once again came home with the win, defeating Morris in straight sets: 7-5, 6-3.
The Bears let Menlo know before the game that they would be stacking during the match, a strategic lineup switch that consists of moving your higher ranked singles players down to doubles to give them a better chance of winning. Although they tried all they could, Menlo still proved dominant across the board, winning a total of six matches to one.
In addition to Chari, the rest of the Menlo singles players got the job done without a problem; No. 2 player Brandon Aprill won 6-0 and 6-2, followed by both No. 3 (Clark Safran) and No. 4 (Volgin) sweeping their opponents 6-0 and 6-0.
In the doubles matches, senior captain Mark Ball and junior Bo Leschly joined forces in the No. 1 contest en route to a big win. Menlo then went one for two in the remaining doubles matches.
The Knights will face the Bellarmine Bells in their next CCS tilt, playing for the semifinals at the Bay Club-Courtside in Los Gatos at 1:30 pm tomorrow. The Bells earned their spot in the second round by beating out the Falcons of Saratoga HS 4-3.