REDLANDS >> Back-to-back defending champions don’t typically have anything to prove, but for the Redlands boys tennis team it has been a different story this season.
Bumped up to CIF-SS Division 2 after dominating Division 4 the last two years, the Terriers sought to show they belonged.
Redlands removed any doubt with a 10-8 win over visiting Sage Hill in the Division 2 semifinal on Wednesday, which vaulted the Terrirer into their fourth CIF final in a row.
“A lot of people doubted us in other divisions, so we’re just proud to represent RHS,” Terriers junior Ishaan Shrivastav said. “Let’s do it one more time.”
Redlands, the No. 2 seed, will play top-seeded Yorba Linda in the finals at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Claremont Club.
“I didn’t expect this (with) a two-division jump, losing the pieces that we lost,” Redlands coach Sean Comadena said. “I honestly thought getting to the semis would be a huge accomplishment.
“This was surprising. I’ll take it, though.”
Jay Swanson and Christian Lensang’s doubles win provided the deciding 10th point.
No. 1 singles Jansen Comadena defeated the Lightning’s top player, Adam Langevin, 6-2, to help Redlands get out of the first round in a 3-3 tie.
Coach Comadena said that point energized the Terriers for the next two rounds.
“My son stepped up and just set the whole tone in that first round,” Sean Comadena said. “He beats a guy that is a Division 1-level player, higher ranked than him, and he just played amazing. I couldn’t be prouder of my son and the rest of the team.”
The match was tied at 5 with two doubles matches still on the court. Swanson and Lensang picked up a 6-4 win to ensure the Terriers would not go into the third round trailing.
But Shrivastav and his partner, Rohan Reddy, came up with arguably the biggest win of the match when they rallied back from being down, 4-1, to score a 7-5 win for a 7-5 team lead.
“We were missing shots and getting all (upset), so our coach just…