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Underdog Nordhoff tennis program stuns powerhouse Cate

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ted Cotti
Nordhoff’s Mikel Elizalde uses a backhand to return a shot in a match earlier this season.
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Nordhoff High School’s (NHS) boys’ tennis team rallied from an 8-5 deficit to defeat defending Tri-Valley League champions Cate, 10-5, in Carpinteria March 29.
“This was absolutely a huge victory for our boys,” said NHS head coach Todd Dickey, whose squad improved to 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in league. “Cate is a perennial top-10 team and a CIF power, but today we were absolutely solid, top to bottom, and showed great equanimity in a difficult environment.”
“It’s particularly sweet because they’re two divisions above us,” said senior Ian Perkins, “and because they’ve destroyed us and the rest of the league for so many years.”
Cate is Division 2 school while Nordhoff is Division 4. 
The Rangers were paced by senior co-captain Victor Becker and his doubles partner, sophomore Dakota Martin, who improved their season mark to 13-5 with a three-set sweep that included Nordhoff’s only win of the day over Cate’s previously unbeaten No. 1 team.

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