Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
Top: Menlo-Atherton’s Scott Morris hits a return during his straight set, 6-2, 6-2 win over Half Moon Bay’s Drew Davison in the PAL singles championship match. Below: M-A’s Reed Fratt returns a shot as his brother looks on. The Fratts defeated teammates Saul Menjivar and Axel Brenner for the PAL doubles title.
After going undefeated in clinching its sixth straight Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division team championship, the Menlo-Atherton boys’ tennis team was looking to sweep the singles and doubles titles in the PAL Individual Tournament at Burlingame Friday afternoon.
The Bears were assured of winning the doubles championship as the final pitted two M-A tandems.
In the singles final, however, M-A’s Scott Morris faced off against Half Moon Bay’s rising star Drew Davison.
While Davison, a freshman, still has time to win a PAL title, Friday was all about M-A’s domination as Morris recorded a 6-2, 6-2 win over Davison.
“I was trying to be consistent and keep up the intensity,” Morris said. “[Davison] is a tough player.”
Morris, the tournament’s top seed, found himself trailing 2-1 in both sets, but he consistently pounded ground strokes, pulled the third-seeded Davison back and forth across the baseline and eventually wore down his younger opponent.
“I was a little tired. I had to work hard the last couple of days,” Davison said. “I had some trouble with his serve. He’s a lefty and he was putting them in difficult spots for me to return. … He’s just a good player.”
Although Davison won his three previous matches in straight sets, he had to beat No. 6 seed Devon Hughes of Aragon in the quarterfinals and Burlingame’s Scott Taggart, the No. 2 seed in the semifinals.
Conversely, Morris all but had a walkover in his semifinal match. He and Mills’ James Tanjuatco played just one game before Tanjuatco retired with an injury.
“I was lucky I basically had a walkover in the semifinals. That helped,” Morris said. “I came out here (Friday) with a full tank of gas.”
This was the first time the two had met. Not only because there is an age difference — Morris is a senior — but because M-A plays in the Bay Division and Half Moon Bay was the Ocean Division champion.
Despite facing an opponent playing in an inferior division, Morris was not overlooking Davison.
“He beat Taggart in the semis. ... I knew he had game, for sure,” Morris said.
In the end, Morris was just more powerful and more consistent. Davison, however, looked at the whole tournament as a learning experience, considering the Cougars are moving up to the Bay Division next season.
“It’s good to see and play some of the competition in the upper league,” Davison said. “My goal was to get to the finals.”
The doubles final pitted M-A’s No. 1 doubles tandem of Saul Menjivar and Axel Brenner — who were seeded third in the doubles tournament — against the tournament’s No. 1 seed of Nick and Reed Fratt. In the end, the Fratt brothers dominated, winning 6-2, 6-0.
“We were expecting to see each other (in the championship match),” said Reed Fratt, a sophomore and the younger of the two brothers. Nick Fratt is a senior.
The Fratts spent most of the season playing singles, but decided to hook up for the postseason. While the two play together on the junior tournament circuit, this was the first time they played together in high school action.
“This is our only time at M-A playing together,” Reed Fratt said. “We thought we could make it special.”
With M-A assistant coach Carlos Aguilar looking on, the Fratts dismantled their teammates, which shocked Aguilar.
It even stunned Reed Fratt a little bit as well.
“We definitely stepped up our play. We were a little sloppy the past couple of days,” Reed Fratt said. “We were making crisp shots (Friday).”
Despite seeing the end of PAL play, both singles finalists and doubles teams will advance to the Central Coast Section tournament which starts in a couple weeks. Both Morris and the Fratt brothers believe they have what it takes to contend for individual titles.
“Our goal is definitely (to make the) finals,” Reed Fratt said. “We’re looking to win it.”
As far as M-A’s PAL dominance this season, Morris admitted this season was one of the best for the school.
“It’s really special, especially as a senior,” Morris said. “I’m honored to be part of this team.”
Added Reed Fratt: “It’s definitely exciting. I think (sweeping the individual titles to add to the team championship) demonstrates what kind of season we’ve had.”
There were no third-place matches contested, as Taggart was awarded third place after Tanjuatco had to forfeit because of injury. Woodside’s Hal Tuttle and Jose Lopez finished third in doubles by virtue of a walkover.
The CCS team tournament begins next week, followed by the CCS individual tournament.