2017-05-18 / Sports

There’s a new sheriff in town

Calabasas seizes Marmonte League boys’ tennis crown
BOYS’ TENNIS /// Calabasas Coyotes
By Jonathan Andrade


SPORTSMANSHIP LIVES!—Calabasas doubles partners Wyatt Hoyt, center, and Timothy Motte, right, shake hands with a San Luis Obispo player in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs May 10 at home. SPORTSMANSHIP LIVES!—Calabasas doubles partners Wyatt Hoyt, center, and Timothy Motte, right, shake hands with a San Luis Obispo player in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs May 10 at home. Westlake High dominated the Marmonte League boys’ tennis circuit year after year. Westlake won the past four league titles.

Just when it seemed like no one could knock the Warriors off their perch, Calabasas rose to the occasion.

The Coyotes defeated Westlake twice this season en route to a Marmonte League championship, ending the Warriors’ dominance with an impressive display of grit, dedication and depth.

“Once we were able to beat Westlake, we looked at ourselves and said ‘Wow, we can go far,’” junior Wyatt Hoyt said. “Beating them cemented the fact that we could do well.”

The Coyotes only lost one league match en route to the title, and they avenged that lone setback during a rematch against Newbury Park.


HAMMER TIME—Ori Mizrahi, a singles standout, is one of two seniors in the starting lineup for the Calabasas High boys’ tennis team. 
Photos by MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers HAMMER TIME—Ori Mizrahi, a singles standout, is one of two seniors in the starting lineup for the Calabasas High boys’ tennis team. Photos by MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers Calabasas opened the postseason with a bang, taking down San Luis Obispo 14-4 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 bracket on May 10.

“We played well in the playoffs,” said senior Mark Peneff, the team’s No. 1 singles player. “It was a great time out there. We really bonded well this year. The best times were bonding with the team during matches, cheering each other on.”

Calabasas lost 13-5 to a talented University of Irvine in the second round on May 12.

The Coyotes didn’t let that setback define a successful year.

“It was really fun,” junior Timothy Motte said of the playoffs. “It really shows there’s more than league. Going to places like Ojai and Irvine almost gives you that professional player feeling. You get to travel with your partner.”


IMPACT— Calabasas senior Mark Peneff returns the ball in a playoff match against San Luis Obispo on May 10. Peneff wants to play tennis at the University of South Alabama next year. IMPACT— Calabasas senior Mark Peneff returns the ball in a playoff match against San Luis Obispo on May 10. Peneff wants to play tennis at the University of South Alabama next year. Motte and Timothy Hoyt teamed up at No. 1 doubles, helping tack on points while Peneff dominated in singles bouts.

Peneff lost only three sets during league duals. He stumbled against Agoura’s Nikita Horunzhy at the Marmonte League singles semifinals but rebounded to go undefeated during CIF action.

Ori Mizrahi, a senior, and junior Danny Ryngler were also solid in singles.

Kyle Spiegelman and Suraj Srivats, both juniors, were a force at No. 2 doubles.

Talented freshmen Afra Zand and Bruno Krenn were welcome additions to the squad. Zand and Krenn provided crucial points at No. 3 doubles.

The rookies provided depth to the lineup. The Coyotes knew in the dog days of summer 2016 that they had a chance to unseat Westlake in the league standings.

“We got some new players in that made our roster a lot deeper,” Hoyt said. “The guys we already had on the team worked pretty hard over the summer. The work we put in really translated. Our players got better. Having a deep lineup allowed us to miss a few people and still be able to produce.”

Calabasas savored the success, but they weren’t surprised by it.

“Going in we were fairly confident,” Hoyt said. “We thought we’d be pretty solid. We all like to talk a lot. It was cool to see it go down and walk the walk.

“We gained confidence and didn’t stop.”

The confidence should spill into next season for Calabasas, which will only lose two seniors from the starting lineup.

Hoyt said he believes the success between the baselines will draw more talented players to the Calabasas courts.

“It makes us more of a destination for tennis,” he said, “which will be helpful in the future. It can really only get better.”

Motte said he’s already looking forward to his senior campaign.

“We’re definitely going to continue training,” Motte said. “Wyatt and I will be playing doubles again next year, so we have all summer to get better as a team.”

Peneff, who is hoping to join the South Alabama men’s tennis team next season, said he’ll cherish the memories the Coyotes created this season.

“It’s one of the best teams I’ve been on,” he said.

The Coyotes in a nutshell

Head coach

• Gerald Mathews

Singles players

• Mark Peneff, senior

• Ori Mizrahi, senior

• Danny Ryngler, junior

Doubles tandems

• Wyatt Hoyt, junior, and Timothy Motte, junior

• Kyle Spiegelman, junior, and Suraj Srivats, junior

• Afra Zand, freshman, and Bruno Krenn, freshman

Season results

• Marmonte League champions

• Reached second round of CIF-Southern Section Division 1 playoffs

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