Mira Costa boys tennis defeats Loyola for Division 1 championship

    The big gamble for the Mira Costa boys tennis team paid off in Friday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship

    “We came in with a strategy of going singles heavy,” Mira Costa coach Allen Yap said. “It was a risk, because you’re looking at the match ending 9-9.”

    The Mustangs swept the nine singles matches. To avoid the tie, they needed one doubles win and Ethan Crowley and Jensen Ring provided it, winning one match to help the Mustangs take the match 10-8 at The Claremont Club.

    Crowley and Ring defeated Max Knight and Colin Yarbrough 7-6

    This was the first CIF-SS final appearance for the Mustangs since 1976 and this is the first championship.

    “That was our magic doubles win,” Yap said.

    The match was tied at 8-8 heading into the final two matches. Both matches went to tiebreakers and the Mustangs won both. Ethan Dover’s 7-6 win at singles and Crowley-Ring’s win clinched the title for the Mustangs.

    The Mustangs took the long road into the playoffs. They finished fourth in the Bay League and needed an at-large berth and was the third seed in the Division 1 playoffs.

    “We got the third seed and worked our way through the 32-team draw,” Yap said. “It was amazing.”

    Mira Costa opened the playoffs with a 13-5 win over Great Oak and followed that with 9-9 match with La Canada. The Mustangs advanced on games 77-71. They defeated Northwood (12-6) in the semifinals and Portola 10-8 in the semifinals.

    “This was a tough way to do it,” Yap said. “But the boys did it.”

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