Damien Tennis recorded it’s best season in recent memory in 2018. The team went in to this years season with high hopes, wishing to build on the momentum created with last years team. Always hoping to push the team as much as possible, coach Urquhart put together a challenging preseason schedule to prepare the team for league play. The Spartans responded in fine fashion taking on every opponent and finishing with an impressive 6-2 record. The team took their fine play in to league and did not disappoint. Coming in to the last week of the season, the team had a chance to finish on top. After some grueling matches and hard fought competition, Damien finished league play in 3rd place, qualifying for the postseason as a team for the first time in over a decade. As the league tournament commenced, Damien had two impressive singles players in Ian Habbestad and Angelino Mollo, both winning all their matches and faced off in the finals. Ian took the match and was named league champion and MVP, while Mollo, who was only a freshman, finished runner-up. In the playoffs the team made a run all the way to the quarterfinals, before losing to eventual champion, Ventura HS. It was now on to the individual tournament, where both Habbestad and Mollo, would represent Damien. In no surprise, both won their first three matches in easy fashion, qualifying them both to advance to the individual finals bracket, were Habbestad made a run to the round of 8 before being knocked out. Only a junior, Ian, will have another chance next season, where the team will look to continue its fine play of this year.
The teams success was very much dependent on the play and leadership of its captain, Ian Habbestad. From the moment Ian stepped on the court as a freshman, it was clear that he had the drive and ability to be a special tennis player. Ian has never disappointed, building each year to the successful player he is today. Ian has represented Damien for the last two years at the prestigious Ojai tournament, he won the league title and was league MVP as a junior, and won four CIFSS matches. Ian finished the 2018 season with an regular season record of 54-0. Damien looks forward to watching him compete for one more season, as a senior.
Congratulations to Ian and the entire Spartan tennis team on a terrific season.