Heading into the final match of the regular season on Thursday, the Mayfair boys tennis team was feeling the nerves. It is understandable, of course, considering that Mayfair’s first boys tennis league title since 1997 was at stake.
In those moments it is the captains who are supposed to step and that is exactly what happened. Jorge Tovar and Simon Ketema delivered a pregame speech to settle the Monsoons down. The team responded in force with a 17-1 victory over Norwalk and clinch their first league title in 20 years.
Tovar, the only senior on the team, has played at Mayfair for four years. His experience and leadership have proved critical as he instilled the belief they could win the title in the young Monsoon squad that features six sophomores and five juniors.
“Jorge told me it was really unexpected,” said coach Chris Tran, “but after the first round against Cerritos he knew we had a chance.”
After losing to Cerritos in the opening league game, the Monsoons rattled off 11 straight league wins. Included in that stretch was Mayfair’s first win over Cerritos since 1997. The Monsoons edged out the Dons 10-8 in late March to set up the title run.
Ketema, only a sophomore, has proved his leadership as well throughout the season.
“They both (Tovar and Ketema) inspired and helped everyone to do better to give ourselves a better chance,” Tran said.
The win secures a share of the league title with Cerritos (11-1). Mayfair (11-1) will now look forward to team CIF and individual league finals in the coming weeks.