One athlete, Deer Valley senior Zahid Ahmad, was looking to cap a successful high school career with a victory in the final league tournament. The other, Heritage freshman Trevor Samuda, set his eyes on a first-place medal to finish off his undefeated season.
In an intense matchup, Samuda bested Ahmad (6-4, 6-1) to claim the league tournament’s singles title. “It was hard because he always hit winners,” a soft-spoken Samuda said of Ahmad.
Prior to the finals, Samuda defeated Antioch’s Ikram Najib and Zachary Ea and R Edwards of Deer Valley. Samuda and Ahmad will continue to represent East County at the North Coast Section tournament, Friday and Saturday at James Logan High in Union City.
“If we had to lose it to somebody, I could accept losing to Trevor,” Deer Valley head coach Brian Richardson said. “These guys all train together and all hang out together, so it’s like one big family.”
Freedom’s Justin Monge won a hard-fought battle against his rival, Antioch’s Najib, to claim third place in the singles bracket.
Liberty’s top three singles athletes, Noah Wang, Jordan Tickner and Hank Tien, each performed well, but lost in the second round. Worku Ousman and Adam Tamura of Heritage also put forth solid efforts.
In addition to Ahmad’s placement in the singles final, the Wolverines were well represented throughout the tournament in the doubles bracket. By the time the tourney wound down to its semifinal round, three of the four teams all hailed from Deer Valley.
Deer Valley’s No. 1 duo of Jeremy Rotman and Michael Djaja ran the table to eventually face teammates Cameron Yee and Jeremy Gonzalez in the title round.
Rotman and Djaja defeated Yee and Gonzalez 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to earn the title and continue their undefeated streak. Ron De Leon and Diyar Aniwar of Deer Valley claimed third place with a victory over Heritage duo Josiah Younger and Adam Nielson.
“We taught them a lot about doubles and they were able to perform it and run plays, and it really showed in their performances,” Richardson said. “I’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth from my No. 1 doubles team, and today it showed how much they’ve grown.”
Though the Wolverines dominated the doubles bracket, other schools also made good showings. Heritage’s Mark Moody and Tyler Fridel earned a victory before losing to teammates Younger and Nielson. Liberty’s Cody Marlin and Nick Fallon, as well as Antioch’s top duo of Thai Luu and Johnny Web, put forth solid efforts.
Click here to view a photo gallery from the tournament.