Preps

Friday, Apr 25 2014 10:12 PM

Strategy change pays off for Busacca

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Liberty's Anthony Busacca returns a volley during the SWYL singles championships Friday at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's Nizam Khan reacts during a volley in the SWYL doubles championships Friday afternoon at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's John Matthew Flores returns a serve from Liberty's Anthony Busacca during the SWYL singles championship match at In Shape-Laurel Glen Friday afternoon.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's Nizam Khan waits to return a serve during the SWYL doubles championships Friday afternoon at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's Andrew Schwartz returns a serve during the SWYL doubles championships at In Shape-Laurel Glen Friday afternoon.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's Nizam Khan waits to return a shot during the SWYL doubles championships Friday afternoon at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Liberty's Anthony Busacca returns a serve from Stockdale's John Matthew Flores during the SWYL singles championships Friday at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's Daniel Van Matre goes high for a return during Friday's SWYL doubles championship match at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's Andrew Schwartz returns a volley during the SWYL doubles championships at In Shape-Laurel Glen Friday afternoon.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Liberty's Anthony Busacca returns a volley from Stockdale's John Matthew Flores during the SWYL singles championships Friday at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Liberty's Anthony Busacca returns a volley from Stockdale's John Matthew Flores during the SWYL singles championships Friday at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's John Matthew Flores charges a shot from Liberty's Anthony Busacca during the SWYL singles championship match at In Shape-Laurel Glen Friday afternoon.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Liberty's Anthony Busacca returns a serve from Stockdale's John Matthew Flores during the SWYL singles championships Friday at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's John Matthew Flores returns a serve from Liberty's Anthony Busacca during the SWYL singles championship match at In Shape-Laurel Glen Friday afternoon.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    Stockdale's John Matthew Flores returns a shot from Liberty's Anthony Busacca during the SWYL singles championship match Friday afternoon at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By Nick Ellis / Special to The Californian

    From left to right, Stockdale doubles teammates Nizam Khan and Andrew Schwartz played against Stockdale terammates Patrick Nassar and Daniel Van Matre for the SWYL doubles championships Friday afternoon at In Shape-Laurel Glen.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Simon Weber of Tehachapi reacts after losing a point to East's Kaleb Johnson during the SEYL tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Zach Gomez of Garces follows through on a shot during the SEYL tennis doubles championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    East's Kaleb Johnson returns a shot against Tehachapi's Simon Weber during the SEYL tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. Johnson won the match.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    East's Kaleb Johnson returns a shot against Tehachapi's Simon Weber during the SEYL tennis championship match at Garces High April 25. Johnson won the match.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Tehachapi's Simon Weber during the SEYL tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. East's Kaleb Johnson won the match.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Tehachapi's Simon Weber returns a shot against East's Kaleb Johnson during the SEYL tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. Johnson won the match.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    East's Kaleb Johnson follows through on a serve to Tehachapi's Simon Weber during the SEYL tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. Johnson won the match.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Zach Gomez of Garces follows through on a shot during the SEYL tennis doubles championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Garces' Alec Slykerman returns a shot during the SEYL doubles tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Christian Curutchague returns a shot during the SEYL doubles tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. Curutchague and Kyle Haffermann faced teammates Alec Slykerman and Zach Gomez.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Kyle Haffermann returns a shot during the SEYL doubles tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. Haffermann and Christian Curutchague faced teammates Alec Slykerman and Zach Gomez.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Christian Curutchague returns a shot during the SEYL doubles tennis championship match at Garces High Friday afternoon. Curutchague and Kyle Haffermann faced teammates Alec Slykerman and Zach Gomez.

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BY STEVEN LYNCH Special to The Californian

Down a set and on the verge of being dethroned of his Southwest Yosemite League singles title, Anthony Busacca decided it was time for a change in strategy.

Instead of continuing his preferred serve-and-volley style of play, the Liberty senior determined he would be better off served staying put as much as possible on the baseline.

Related Info

Boys league tennis championships

South Yosemite League

At Bakersfield Racquet Club

SINGLES

Championship: Medina, MM, d. Lux, RV, 7-5, 6-2.

Third place: Barcenas, MM, d. Lomeli, W, 6-1, 6-3

Fifth place: Acevedo, GV, d. Leal, W, 6-2, 7-5

DOUBLES

Championship: Carias-Cruz, W, d. Lopez-Rojas, W, 6-1, 6-2

Third place: Rios-Aquino, RV, d. Sanchez-Robles, S, 6-3, 7-5

Fifth place: Gi. Moramo-Ge. Moramo, RV, d. Pacheco-Tran, MM, 6-0, 6-0

South Sequoia League

Singles

Championship : Han, BCHS, d. Wallace, BCHS, 6-2, 6-1.

Third place : Fields, Taft d. Rojas, Cesar Chavez, injury default.

Fifth place : Hiebert, Shafter d. Sharp, Taft, 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles

First place : Harris/Daug, BCHS d. Gutierrez/Miranda, Taft 6-1, 6-3.

Third place : Bunch/Arregyn, Taft d. Paw/Robinson, BCHS 6-4, 6-3.

Fifth place : Carriedo/Rodriguez, Wasco d. Hernandez/Watson, Arvin, 6-1, 7-5.

Southeast Yosemite League

Singles

Championship : Johnson, East d. Weber, Tehachapi, 6-1, 6-0.

Third place : Ruiz, East d. Simonsen, Garces, injury default.

Fifth place : Pandol, Garces d. Cecil, East, 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles

Championship : Slykerman/Gomez, Garces d. Curutchague/Haffermann, Garces, 6-1, 6-4.

Third place : Williams/Sungatov, North d. Dunn/Bilotta, Tehachapi, 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-1.

Fifth place : Dosanjh/Echeverria, Garces d. Gonzalez/Lira, Foothill, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

Southwest Yosemite League

Singles

First place : Busacca, Liberty d. Flores , Stockdale, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Third place : Lancaster, Liberty d. Chowdhury, Stockdale, 5-7, 7-5, 6-0.

Fifth place : Ramos, Frontier d. Bhogal, Stockdale, 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 6-4.

Doubles

First place : Schwartz/Khan, Stockdale d. Van Matre/Nassar, Stockdale, 6-4, 6-7(3-7), 6-2.

Third place: Rodriguez/Raney, Liberty d. Lerma/Berdon, BHS, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Fifth place : Paradise/Ramirez, Stockdale d. Cheema/Patel, Liberty, 6-0, 6-3.

The alteration in tactics worked out perfectly for Busacca, who rallied to beat top-seeded John Matthew Flores of Stockdale 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the SWYL singles final Friday at In-Shape Health Club.

"After I lost that first set I needed to refocus," Busacca said. "I just refocused and took a whole new approach to it. That's what allowed me to take (the match)...I decided to only serve and volley my first serve, if I hit it well. So that was if I saw him hesitating a little bit and I had a chance. Because the first set I was going for everything and he was just returning too well."

After Flores won four of five games to finish off the first set, Busacca began implementing his new strategy and jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second set.

Flores, 4-1 over the past two years against Busacca prior to Friday, fought back to narrow the second-set gap to 4-3.

But with a chance draw even in the set, Flores failed to hold serve and soon afterward Busacca won another game and forced a third set, which turned out to be one-sided.

Busacca won the SWYL singles title last year and doubles title in 2012.

"I'm really happy, especially since I was 0-2 before that against him this season," Busacca said.

Flores gave credit to Busacca for adjusting his style in order to get a better result.

"The past two times (we played) he served and volleyed which I could neutralize," Flores said. "But today he played smarter than I did and he hit smarter shots and he won."

Despite Flores' loss in the singles final, the Mustangs shined overall. All nine Stockdale entries in the two-day event placed in the top six of either singles or doubles, earning them a spot in the South Area tournament which will be held in two weeks at Garces.

Andrew Schwartz and Nizam Khan were at the forefront of Stockdale's SWYL tournament success.

The duo beat teammates Daniel Van Matre and Patrick Nassar 6-4, 6-7(3-7), 6-2 in the doubles final.

"This match (the doubles final) was tough, especially because we were going against our teammates," Khan said. "It was a fun match but there were definitely a lot of emotions going back and forth. But the number one thing was to stay positive and take it point by point and that's what we did. Thankfully, we pulled it out in the end."

SEYL tournament

East's Kaleb Johnson was a bit deflated when he found out he wasn't going to get the opportunity to face Garces' Dylan Simonsen in the Southeast Yosemite League singles final.

Having gone 1-1 against Simonsen in their first two meetings, Johnson was hoping for a rubber-match against his good friend and toughest league rival.

But with Simonsen out of the picture due to a hand injury, Johnson (19-1) dominated the competition, beating Tehachapi's Simon Weber 6-1, 6-0 for the SEYL singles title at Garces.

"It was pretty exciting but I knew it probably would have been a little bit different if Dylan didn't have a broken hand," Johnson said. "...He told me the day before that he wasn't going to play the next day. I was pretty disappointed."

Johnson, the younger brother of four-time SEYL singles champion D.J. Johnson, lost just three games during his four tournament matches.

"I think I did pretty good on almost everything but I need to work on my backhand, like seriously," Kaleb Johnson said. "It's pretty bad right now."

The doubles final was an all-Garces affair that saw Alec Slykerman and Zach Gomez defeat Christian Curutchague and Kyle Haffermann, 6-1, 6-4.

"The guys decided they wanted to go for the doubles again," Garces coach Barb Johnston said. "Alec and Zach teamed up and Christian and Kyle teamed up. They all played very well together. They hadn't played that much together all year so I was happy about that."

Despite his injury, Simonsen won twice on Thursday, playing all or mainly left-handed before defaulting Friday's third-place match to the Blades' Josue Ruiz.

Clayton Williams and Iskander Sungatov of North downed Brandon Dunn and Eric Bilotta of Tehachapi, 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-1, to take third place in doubles.

SSL tournament

It didn't take long for Jack Han to make his mark playing high school tennis in the United States. Just three weeks after enrolling at Bakersfield Christian following a family move from Canada, Han came up big at the South Sequoia League Championships by beating teammate Christopher Wallace 6-2, 6-1 in the singles final at Taft High.

"When I came here I knew high school tennis was going to be intense competition," Han said. "Other than that I really didn't know what to expect. But I'm happy that I got my first tournament win in the U.S."

BCHS's top-seeded doubles team of Tanner Harris and Nicolo Daug also brought home first place medals. The duo whipped Taft's Chuy Gutierrez and Cristo Miranda 6-1, 6-3 for the doubles title.

"I'm blessed to have such a wonderful partner to play tennis with," Harris said. "Someone who can carry me as much as I can carry him, who can equal my skills and help me improve on what I'm not exactly the best at. It was just awesome playing with him."

Both Harris and Daug pointed to their ability to work well together as the main reason for them being so successful during the two-day event.

"We played some really good tennis, mostly because of our teamwork," Daug said. "We picked each other up throughout the match. We had endurance. We persevered throughout the match and we were just really consistent."

Taft's Cameron Bunch and Rafa Arregyn beat BCHS' Branden Paw and Bradley Robinson 6-4, 6-3, in the doubles third-place match.

Cesar Chavez's Joe Rojas took third place in singles. He defeated Kyler Fields of Taft, who developed cramps and had to retire from the match after winning the first set 7-5.

Wallace, the tournament's top-seed, was undefeated in singles this season prior to losing to Han (10-0) on Friday.

"Jack played a really good match," Wallace said. "I just didn't bring my full game and he obviously kept his together. Other than that it was a really good, competitive end of the tournament."

Han said he knew, based on experience, it wasn't going to be east to beat Wallace.

"I knew I had to have intensity on the first point because we always practice together and our level is really close, so anyone on a given day can beat the other person," Han said. "So I knew I had to stick to my game plan, which I did, and play my best tennis to beat him."

SYL tournament

Mira Monte's Alex Medina figured that if he passed up a meeting with a congressman, he'd better make the most of it.

Medina did just that, beating top-seeded Austin Lux of Ridgeview 7-5, 6-2 in the South Yosemite League singles final at Bakersfield Racquet Club.

"I was iffy if I was going to play in this tournament," Medina said. "I had a Ford Dimension lunch with Kevin McCarthy today, and yesterday I had a drama practice, so I almost had to default. I'm glad I played."

It's the first league title for Medina, who had lost twice to Lux during the regular season.

"My coach pulled me to the side and said, 'Alex, today is the day to represent your school,'" Medina said. "I love my school, I love Mira Monte, so I just did it for them and for the tennis team. It's amazing."

Mira Monte's Chris Barcenas beat West's Xavier Lomeli 6-1, 6-3 for third place in singles.

The West High team of Wesley Carias and Jordy Cruz beat their top-seeded teammates, Jorge Lopez and Alan Rojas, 6-1, 6-2 in the SYL doubles final. Ridgeview's Alex Rios and Daniel Aquino took third.

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