Local high school tennis team ‘neighbors’ compete for San Diego CIF title

The two teams, Canyon Crest Academy and Torrey Pines High School, just before they went on to the courts to play the match. CCA is on the left and TP to the right.

The Torrey Pines High School boys tennis team has dominated the local high school tennis scene for decades, claiming its third San Diego Section California Interscholastic Federation crown in four years with a 13-5 win over Canyon Crest Academy. It is interesting to note that the two best teams out of 87 in San Diego County are located just three miles away from each other.

The match was played at the Barnes Youth Tennis Center on May 7. TPHS swept the singles with high school standout seniors Charles Pei, Max Liu and Raul de la Torre. The CCA Ravens displayed their might by winning five of nine doubles matches. CCA standouts were Reid Ponder, Jake Williams, Roman Shenkiryk, and Val Poiset.

The No. 1-seeded Falcons posted decisive wins over No. 8 La Costa Canyon and No. 4 La Jolla High to reach the section final. In his second season at TPHS, Coach John DeLille has led both the boy’s and girl’s squads to undefeated seasons that have culminated with San Diego Section CIF Open titles.

Also in his second year at the helm, Coach Larry Belinsky helped the CCA Ravens reach their first and inaugural CIF “Open” Division final. The No. 6-seeded Ravens (labeled as the “Cinderella Team”) battled No. 3 Westview in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Del Norte High School in the semifinals in two thrilling and close encounters before meeting TP at the pinnacle.

Assistant Coach Christopher Black is especially proud of the steady growth of the tennis program and the successes of CCA scholar-athletes on and off the court. The Ravens won a Division 2 Boys title in 2012, and reached the CIF Section finals the past four consecutive years. The 2014 CCA girls team, led by Coach Belinsky, won the Division 1 Section title, making tennis the only CCA sport to have both boys and girls CIF banners waving in the gym.

And in case this wasn’t enough, the two “neighbors,” CCA and TP, will proudly represent San Diego at the SoCal Regional State Championships at the end of the month.