Lincoln captures section crown

The story coming into the day was who wasn’t there.

But after nearly three hours of tense tennis in the San Francisco Section final at Golden Gate Park, upstarts Lincoln and Balboa made the interruption of the Lowell dynasty a distant afterthought.

In front of the full roster of both teams and a vocal contingent of fans, Jun Ouyang’ s power serve was too hard to return, givinghe and partner Alan Ly a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 victory at No. 1 doubles and the Mustangs a 4-3 victory. It was the first section title in school history for top-seeded Lincoln (8-0), which has knocked on the door for years but watched Lowell win 17 straight championships and 59 of 70 overall.

Balboa, which finished the year 6-2 after beating the Cardinals 4-3 in the semifinal, was also looking for its first title.

“Half of this team is seniors and Lowell has won every year since we’ve been born — 1990,” Ly said. “We’ve said all year this was our time and it’s pretty hard to describe now that we’ve done it.”

Ouyang and Ly — playing their first official match together all season — seemed to be on the secondary stage for much of the afternoon with much of the crowd focused on the No. 4 singles match between Simon Zhong of Balboa and Mark Solovey of Lincoln. The two baseliners traded rallies of 20-plus shots from the first point through a third-set tiebreaker, until Zhong finally outlasted Solovey 6-4, 3-6,

7-6 (8) and drew the two teams even at 3-3. Meanwhile, Ly and Ouyang saw Phillip Chung and Jude Xie erase a 5-2 third-set deficit and draw even at 5-5.

“My guys seemed like they were cruising and then all of a sudden it’s 5-5,” Lincoln coach Greg Simmons said. “And like everyone here, I tensed up.”

Ly and Ouyang recovered to force five errors and break Balboa in the next game before Ouyang served out the match. The Mustangs advance to the NorCal tournament, while Balboa can take solace in knowing it played for the title just four years after finishing last in the Academic Athletic Association.

“On the first day of practice, I told the guys we were the best team and we ended practice every day by holding a tennis racket up and simulating celebrating a championship,” Simmons said. “And man does it feel great to get the Lincoln name on that trophy.”

melliser@examiner.com

Lincoln 4,

Balboa 3

Singles: Brandon On (B) def. Dillon Nguyen 6-3, 6-1; Ben Lam (L) def. Rodrigo Garcia 6-1, 6-1; Julio Munoz (B) def. Garrick Lee 6-3, 6-2; Simon Zhong (B) def. Mark Solovey 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8).

Doubles: Alan Ly-Jun Ouyang (L) def. Phillip Chung-Jude Xie 4-6, 7-5, 7-5; Aaron Wu-Willis Wong (L) def. Josh Tam-Roger Lam 6-3, 7-5; Jeffrey Chum-James Wan (L) def. Ryan Zhong and Derrick Duario 6-0, 6-1.

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The San Francisco Police Department has cancelled discretionary days off and will have extra officers on duty for Inauguration Day, Chief Bill Scott said Tuesday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF ‘prepared for anything’ ahead of inauguration, but no protests expected

Authorities boosting police staffing, security at City Hall

The T Third Street train will resume service on Saturday, and will be joined by a new express route from the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Express bus from Bayview-Hunters Point to downtown coming Saturday

New Muni route to launch alongside the return of the T-Third train

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Currey (30) tallied 26 points and seven assists at Monday night’s game against the Lakers. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors overcome 19-point deficit to stun defending-champion Lakers 115-113

Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden State Warriors are officially back. Stephen Curry… Continue reading

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

Most Read