YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsEagles

Eagles capture league championship

May 02, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

After a two-year hiatus, the Southwest High tennis team reclaimed what it felt should have belonged to it the past two seasons: the Imperial Valley League championship.

With a 12-6 victory over Central Union High at Southwest on Wednesday, the Eagles improved to 7-0 in league and claimed their second title in four years and fifth in the last seven seasons.

"The last two years it always seemed like we were just that close, but then we had guys who didn't finish the season for whatever reasons, and it felt like we were let down," said senior doubles player Randy Lyon. "My freshman year we won league so easy, so after that, I just thought I'd have four (championships) by the end of my senior year. But we had a couple of disappointments the last two years."


Through the disappointments and letdowns, Randy Lyon and his brother Greg have risen to the top of the IVL as the best doubles tandem. The two could have had an opportunity to improve upon their 38-2 overall record and 21-0 league mark but they didn't play together against the Spartans.

"It was disappointing not being able to play doubles with him today, but that's OK, we still feel we're the best in the league," said Randy Lyon. "Right now what we're focusing on, our motivation, is CIF and getting past the first round and making it to the second day."

Against Central, Randy Lyon teamed with Neil Stickles and won two sets playing as Southwest's No. 1 doubles team. Lyon/Stickles downed Central's No. 2 Andrew Mungia and Sergio Guzman and its No. 3 team of Alex Lopez and Angel Paleo, both 6-1.

Kareem Salem and Hector Bravo, No. 2 doubles for the Eagles, defeated Mungia/Guzman 6-0 and Lopez/Paleo 6-2.

Bobby Romero and Jared Kaye accounted for the Eagles' other doubles point with a 6-4 win over Lopez/Paleo.

Central's No. 1 team of Octavio Cortez and Carlos Olmedo swept it sets 7-5, 6-2 and 6-4.

On the singles side, No. 1 for Southwest, John Bonano, did not give up a point, beating Central's Frankie Esquer, John Harmon and Seth Vogel all 6-0. Greg Lyon had similar success in singles for the Eagles, winning 6-3, 6-2 and 6-0. Ricky Ramirez picked up one point for Southwest, beating Harmon 6-1.

Said Greg Lyon: " … Sheer domination, today and all year. And it feels great. This year's been good and I think next year's going to be awesome."

Esquer and Vogel picked up points for the Spartans (0-4 IVL) with wins over Ramirez. Esquer downed Ramirez 6-3 while Vogel beat him 6-4.

"From the beginning of the year every time our guys would huddle before matches and break with one word: ‘Dominate,'" said Southwest coach Genaro Piniero. "Whenever we go out and play, we try to win big, and throughout the year we've been able to do that.

"Last year when we'd lose, the guys would kind of get down on themselves, so we had to get them used to winning again," said Piniero. "I really think this is one of the strongest teams we've had in a few years."

Both teams play Monday, with Southwest taking on the IVL's second-place team, Vincent Memorial, at 4 p.m. at Imperial Valley College while the Spartans play at Brawley at 5 p.m.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles