Scorpion boys tennis team dominates PVL from start to finish

Boy is trying to reach the ball.
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© Iris Smoot/Acorn Newspapers
TOP DOG—Camarillo High’s Joey Sander is the reigning Pacific View League MVP. © Iris Smoot/Acorn Newspapers

Game, set, match—rewind and repeat.

The Camarillo High boys’ tennis team wrapped up its fourth consecutive undefeated Pacific View League campaign Monday with a 16-2 whitewashing of Pacifica at home.

For some seniors on Camarillo’s roster, losing a league match is as foreign as wooden rackets and shorts near the thigh.

“The perfect record is actually really cool,” said senior Bret Meier, the Scorpions’ top doubles player and a four-year varsity member. “But that’s what we do. We get the job done.”

With Monday’s victory, Scorpion head coach Nathan Inouye improved his career coaching record to 48-2 in PVL competition. In five seasons, Inouye has led Camarillo to four first-place finishes and a second-place result in 2007.

“For the seniors to go undefeated in league, that’s a great accomplishment for them,” Inouye said. “But (success) isn’t new for us. There have been some really good Camarillo teams in the past.”

Camarillo (14-3 overall, 10-0 in league) boasts a formidable singles lineup.

Senior Justin Anderson, junior Joey Sander and sophomore Corey Karen do the heavy lifting for the Scorpion singles.

Anderson, who often slots in as the squad’s No. 1 player, blows away opponents with a smoldering serve that teammates estimate travels more than 100 miles per hour.

He worked his way up the ladder from playing doubles as a freshman to the top spot as a senior. Anderson, who will attend UC San Diego, has found success by keeping things simple on the court.

“Basically, I hit it as hard as I can every single time,” he said. “It works out.”

Sander was the 2010 Pacific View League Player of the Year.

A superior, fleet-footed athlete on the court, Sander makes his money near the twine.

“He can run down balls and has good, quick hands at the net,” the coach said of Sander. “Those are his strengths—being quick at the net.

“And he usually just outlasts other players. He’s not one to go quietly.”

Karen is the Scorpions’ only left-handed player. He has competed in United States Tennis Association youth matches for almost half his life.

The sophomore standout said his southpaw swing can make it tough for opponents to track the ball like they would against a runof the-mill right-hander.

“Righties aren’t used to my swing,” Karen said. “The whole thing kind of throws them off.

“Sometimes (my serve) kind of jams them up.”

Similar to Sander, Karen likes to get to the net and put foes away.

In doubles play, Meier, the senior, typically teams with fellow senior Kenny Wang to form Camarillo’s No. 1 duo.

Sophomore Westin Byerly and senior Eric Chen score plenty of points as the second doubles squad.

Senior Shan Tambat and junior Matt Haney have posted solid results while slotting in as the Scorpions’ third pairing.

Meier said the doubles teams will need to bolster their collective games during the upcoming CIF-Southern Section Division 2 postseason.

Despite all of the Scorpions’ regular-season success throughout the past three years, Camarillo has failed to advance past the second round of the playoffs.

Last year, Camarillo fell to eventual section champion Brentwood in a close second-round contest.

“In league, our singles players win pretty much all of their matches, so the doubles teams only have to get two or three games total, even though we win most of them anyway,” Meier said.

“But as soon as we get to CIF, the singles won’t be able to win all their matches because the competition will be so good. That’s when we have to step up as doubles players and get five or six points.”

Meier’s head coach concurred.

“In high school tennis,” Inouye said, “doubles is where you win or lose matches.”

In addition to praising his players, Inouye said he’s thrilled to have assistant coach Mark Jessop-Ellis on board this season.

Jessop-Ellis is a California Lutheran University graduate with a distinguished tennis resume, including a 2009 induction into the CLU Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame.

During the mid- ’90s, according to the Cal Lutheran website, Jessop-Ellis was a three-time All- American and two-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

“He’s been an awesome addition,” Inouye said of Jessop-Ellis. “The guys have been learning a lot from him.”

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