Pellouchoud wins elusive section tennis title, aces prom request
For four years, Canyon Crest Academy’s Zach Pellouchoud chased his dream of winning a section singles tennis title.
He was upset in his first match as a freshman. His sophomore season was robbed by COVID. A year ago he fell in the quarterfinals. So when Pellouchoud watched Adan Dorros of Bishop’s push a backhand wide on set point Saturday, May 14, at the Balboa Tennis Club, cementing a 6-3, 6-4 finals win, at first he kept his emotions under wraps.
There was a slight pump of the fist and a wry grin. Later, he let his feelings known.
“After chasing it so long,” said Pellouchoud, the No. 1 seed, “it feels relieving.”
Pellouchoud ran off the last three games of the first set, then five of the first six in the second set. But the third-seeded Dorros, a junior, made the Raven work.
Dorros ran off three games before Pellouchoud held serve to win.
“At least I made him a little uncomfortable,” said Dorros.
Bound for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Pellouchoud boasts is blessed with a dominant forehand.
“I think it came down to a lot of forehand winners for him,” said Dorros. “That’s what you want to hear. It was winners, not unforced errors.”
Pellouchoud also possesses a big serve. Three service winners helped him close out the match.
After the win, Pellouchoud scurried off the court and returned with a prom request sign for his girlfriend, Katie Codd.
She said yes. The sign read, “It takes balls (with a picture of a tennis ball) to ask a blue chip, but it’s worth it.”
In tennis, a blue chip is one of the very best players. Codd, bound for Duke on a tennis scholarship, applies.
Asked which felt better, the win on the court or the one off it, Pellouchoud demonstrated a quick wit, saying, “It felt so great to go out and get two wins today.”
Codd won CCA’s first girls singles title in 2018. Pellouchoud earned the Ravens’ first boys crown.
In a historic final, No. 1 seeded seniors Camden French and Dante Schrantz of La Jolla Country Day defeated third-seeded Jagger Bisharat and Niki Zemljic of La Jolla 7-6 (2), 6-7 (2), 7-6 (4). According to the San Diego Section record book, it was the first doubles championship three-set tie-breaker in the section’s 62-year history.
The win was redemptive after French and Schrantz lost in the semis last year as the No. 1 seed.
“We wanted to get the win to put the past in the past,” said Schrantz.
Of the nearly three-hour, back-and-forth match, Schrantz said, “It was nerve-racking.”
The Torreys seniors have been friends since preschool.
“This was pretty cool,” said French. “Something we’ll remember a long time.”
Norcross is a freelance writer.
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