BOYS TENNIS: La Salle reaches finals, San Marino slips

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Tuesday’s Semifinals
Division II

Palm Desert 10, San Marino 8
Division V
La Salle 11, Cate 7

My thoughts: There was a lot of focus on San Marino’s No. 1 singles player Daniel Weingarten, who didn’t play because of an amateur tournament.
Question: Did he do the right thing by playing in a higher-caliber tournament?

By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
Defending its CIF-Southern Section championship was a tall enough order for San Marino High School’s boys tennis team.
The added pressure of not having its No. 1 singles player certainly didn’t help matters Tuesday in the Division II semifinals against visiting Palm Desert.
Minus Daniel Weingarten, who was in Sacramento for an amateur tournament, the Titans dropped a 10-8 decision to the visiting Aztecs.
“Daniel had a commitment in Sacramento and he had difficulty getting flights back so he got stuck, and he can’t play if he doesn’t go to school,” San Marino coach John Kuramoto said.
Johnny Wang stepped up to the No. 1 spot and swept his three sets in singles play to lead San Marino (17-6).
The Titans’ No. 1 doubles team of Nick Chang and Garry Wu won two of their three sets, as did the duo of Michael Moya and Michael Chang.
“Our boys played very hard, it was a very competitive match and they almost pulled it off,” Kuramoto said. “In victory we’re humble and appreciative, and we do almost the same thing when we lose. We have to keep it in perspective, make positives from it.”
A year after being eliminated in the semifinals, La Salle got its chance for redemption against No. 1-seeded Cate.
After reaching the semifinals for the second consecutive year, the Lancers are going somewhere they’ve never gone before — the Division V finals — following an 11-7 victory Tuesday at La Salle.
The Lancers will face either Thacher or Segerstrom May 28 at Claremont Club at 2:30 p.m. next Wednesday.
La Salle’s top singles player, Kevin Sitwala, won two of his three sets.
“I feel absolutely amazing and I can’t explain how happy I am to be going to the finals,” Sitwala said. “The home-court advantage helped out.”
The doubles team of Glen Willis and Matt Lam swept their three sets, and the tandem of T.J. Justo and Spencer Scott took two of their three sets.
“Everything we did today was a team effort,” La Salle coach Tim Pawley said. “The guys played better than I have seen them play all season long.”

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