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Tennis Notebook: La Salle Wins Academic Team Title

Lancers will be honored May 9 prior to a Los Angeles Angels home game.

It may be spring break for most area schools, but La Salle isn’t one of them.

The Lancers are in session and the boys tennis team will not have to postpone its celebration of winning the 2011 CIF Southern Section-Ford Academic Award for cumulative team grade point average for schools with less than 1,500 students.

The Lancers won the award for having a team GPA of 3.783.

“That’s a heck of an achievement,” La Salle coach Tim Pawley said of his players. “The school holds academics very dearly, so when you can do that it’s a good recruiting tool.”

La Salle edged out Laguna Blanca, which had a 3.779. Flintridge Prep finished third with a 3.765 and La Canada was sixth with a 3.731.

The Lancers will be recognized on the field May 9 prior to a Los Angeles Angels home game.

Pawley said his team is hoping to win a Del Rey League title to go along with the academic award, which is its second such honor.

La Salle won the academic title in 2008 and also reached the CIF Division 5 team final, where it lost to Thacher of Ojai 10-8.

“I told the players if we can win league along with the academic banner, we can duplicate something from the team of three years ago,” Pawley said.

La Salle is 10-6 overall and 6-2 in league with matches against Cathedral and Bishop Montgomery Thursday and Friday. A pair of wins could put the Lancers on top of the Del Rey League standings.

One benefit they will have is having freshman No.1 singles player Garrett Mak. Mak, who lives in Arcadia, is ranked No. 9 in the Southern California Tennis Association’s 14-and-under rankings. The Lancers could be without Mak for much of next week as he competes in the prestigious invitation-only Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage. The Easter Bowl is one of the top junior tournaments in the nation.

Pawley said while Mak is clearly his best player, the team is solid throughout.

He has been impressed by the No. 1 doubles team of junior Austin Fitzgerald and senior Arthur Chi.

Junior Jordan Adams has been a solid No. 2 singles players, but may have to move into the top spot if Mak is to miss any time.

“We will get to the playoffs, but I want it to be as league champions,” Pawley said.

*******

The CIF has released the list of players who have been selected to represent their schools in the 109th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which runs April 26-May 1.

Making the cut was San Marino singles player Johnny Wang and the Titans’ doubles team of Robert Carter and Nicolas Splichal. The Titans are ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll.

Also making it into the tournament was the La Canada doubles team of Michael Choi and Tyler Jones.

Lestter Yeh of Temple City, an Arcadia resident who started his high school career at San Marino, was also selected to play in the singles competition.

Arcadia, which is 12-0 overall and 7-0 in the Pacific League, did not attempt to send anyone to Ojai this year according to coach Jerry Dohling. The Apaches are ranked No. 2 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 poll.

Jim Riggio's "Boys Tennis Notebook" will appear weekly on all Patch sites in the San Gabriel Valley area.

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