One is a wailer. The other a hammer.
With the Oahu Interscholastic Association boys tennis title on the line, the wailer won. Yuta Omori of Kaiser rallied for an epic 4-6, 7-6, 10-6 win over Jireh Lin of Mililani in a match that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
The match took 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete as players and fans were infested by mosquitoes at Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.
"The mosquitoes bit my ear a couple of times during the match. That was bothering me," Omori said. "My backhand was consistent. That helped me a lot."
Lin had the lead in the second set, 4-3, and the potential to sweep his foe when disaster struck. A full-blown quadriceps cramp hit the 6-foot-2 senior. It had started earlier, giving him trouble with his inner thigh, then the outer thigh, before causing his calf to weaken. When it struck his right quad, there seemed little hope of a completion of the match as he received treatment from a trainer for several minutes.
"I thought I had to take advantage of his cramp because he was rallying me out," Omori said. "I thought he had me for a second. He still played well. I was waiting for him to miss his shots. He wouldn’t give up. He’s tough."
Lin was almost willing to concede in one sense.
"This is the first time I’ve ever had cramping. I was like, ‘What the heck?’ I didn’t prepare right," he said. "It’s evidence that I didn’t train well enough. I didn’t take it seriously. I’ve never done weight training. I don’t drink (fluids) enough."
Still, after some Gatorade, a banana and a salt tablet, he was back on the court.
"I just wanted to hit my shot. I can’t control what happens, I just want to hit my shot," Lin said.
Lin wouldn’t relent. He came after Omori with a serve that was more wicked, with far more velocity, and kept the second set close before succumbing.
That left the 10-point tiebreaker third set.
Omori kept a one-point lead and was up 7-6 before Lin finally began to wilt. Omori ended the match with a return that rifled up the left side, unreturnable by Lin.
Earlier, Mililani freshman Alyssa Tobita defeated teammate Kimberly Takara 6-1, 6-1 to win the OIA girls championship.
"It was fun. It was challenging, though, with the top four from both (East and West) sides," Tobita said. "It’s really hot, but you’ve got to deal with the conditions."
In the girls doubles final, Taylor Oyama and Kelsey Kennell of Mililani rallied past Erin Hashimoto and Leah Yamamoto of Roosevelt 4-6, 6-4, 10-6.
Cody Lau and Ty Tanaka of Kalani defeated Bailey Tacub and Eric Wolfe of Kaiser 6-2, 6-1 for the OIA boys doubles championship.