Boys' Varsity Tennis at CIF Southern Section Individual Championships
|Senior Blake Mackall|
Senior Blake Mackall advanced to the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship round of 32 with a fine effort to best Kevin Bondar of Oaks Christian in the northern region tournament on Friday, May 18. On Thursday, May 24, Blake traveled down to the Whittier Narrows Tennis Center to play a round of 32 match against one of the finest players in the northern portion of the CIF-SS and winner of the Ojai Tournament in the Boy's 16's, Eli Whittle of Arroyo Grande High School. After falling behind 5-2 in the first set, Blake quietly stormed back to a 7-5 win. In the second set, Blake took a commanding 5-1 lead whereupon Eli came back to force a tie-breaker at 6-6. Battling stomach cramps and the lethal forehand of his opponent, Blake finally prevailed 8-6 in the "breaker" to advance to the round of 16 in a tournament that began with 580 secondary schools. After a marathon road trip on Thursday [Cate-to-Whittier back to Cate and Cate-to-Seal Beach; about 400 miles of freeway driving], Blake faced off with Gage Brymer from University High School in Irvine -- the #1 ranked player in the state and last year's CIF-SS Singles Champion. Blake ended up losing the match 4-6, 1-6, but played every game with tremendous intelligence, tenacity, and patience. The match featured brilliant shot-making and great sportsmanship from both players -- and both earned rave reviews from coaches and players from across Southern California. Blake completes his final year of Cate tennis with a better than 90% career win average over four years, two consecutive appearances in the Round of 32 in the CIF Individual Championship Tournament, and three Cate School Championships. An impressive and most daunting legacy.
End of Season