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Niccum reaches second round of CIF individual tennis playoffs

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The CIF San Diego Section individual tennis tournament was held May 9-14 at the Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego, and Fallbrook High School junior Porter Niccum reached the second round of singles play.

Niccum advanced to the next round with a first-round victory over his Bonita Vista opponent. The doubles portion of the tournament included Fallbrook senior Daniel Winton and junior Joe Tygart losing a first-round match to a seeded opponent.

The first two singles rounds were played May 9. The first-round match between Niccum and Bonita Vista junior William Maywood went to three sets. Niccum won the 6-4 first set. Maywood responded with a 6-1 triumph in the second set. If the players split sets a tie breaking game to 10 points rather than a full third set is played.

Maywood had a lead in the tiebreaker. “Porter went on a little run,” said Fallbrook coach Bill Lenaway.

Niccum won the tiebreaker by a 10-6 score. “He got through the match. It’s important to get through matches,” Lenaway said.

“It was a good match,” said Bonita Vista coach Liza Tacher. “It could have gone either way.”

The top four singles players and doubles teams are given specific seeds; the next four players and tandems have unspecified 5-8 seeds; eight players and duos are given unspecified 9-16 seeds, and another four players or partners receive unspecified 17-20 seeds.

The top 16 seeds have byes for the first two rounds. The 17-20 seeds do not have those first-day byes. One of those 17-20 seeds, Canyon Crest junior Rahul Machavarapu, faced Niccum in the second round May 9.

Niccum lost 6-1 and 6-0 sets to Machavarapu. “He was outmatched by the guy,” Lenaway said.

Lenaway wasn’t dissatisfied with Niccum’s performance. “I like the way he played,” Lenaway said.

The 17-20 doubles seeds included Torrey Pines junior Daniel Shafer and freshman Amara Sai Kunal, who began their tournament matches May 10 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Winton and Tygart. “I was proud of the way they played,” Lenaway said of Winton and Tygart. “They were really right there in those games with them.”

Winton would have preferred to have concluded his high school career in a subsequent round but was not disappointed in his play. “Being able to compete with them is good,” he said.

That includes falling in a 6-4 second set. “It was a valiant effort,” Winton said. “It was a good end to our season.”

Winton plans to attend the University of California, Davis but does not plan to play tennis for the Aggies.

Tygart also noted that the match was a good end to his season. “They were really good competition,” he said.

Tygart noted that his partner fared well against the seeded players. “I’m proud of the way Daniel played,” Tygart said.


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