Valencia’s first opportunity to return to the ranks of the elite boys’ tennis teams in the Foothill League comes next week, when the Vikings (7-3, 2-0) play host to defending champion Hart (5-1, 2-0) and Burbank (6-3, 1-1) in a three-day period. After winning the league outright in 2002 and 2004 and sharing the championship with Burbank in 2003, the Vikings finished third behind Hart and Canyon last season, losing as many matches (12) as they did in the previous three seasons combined. Valencia nearly found itself in a first-place tie with Burbank, not Hart, following Thursday’s competition, as the Indians needed a victory in the final set of the match to pull out a 10-8 triumph over Burbank to extend its league winning streak to 12 matches entering Tuesday’s contest with the Vikings, who defeated Burroughs of Burbank 16-2. Hart’s only loss was a 10-8 setback to an undefeated Glendale team. Valencia’s three losses have been 11-7 against Camarillo (6-2), 15-3 to Granada Hills (4-0) and 14-4 to Viewpoint of Calabasas (7-2). Valencia’s Ryan Lassila and Steve Novak defeated Granada Hills’ Jeremy Choo and Zach Katz 8-7 (7-2) in the third-place doubles contest. Canyon’s Dan Debbini and Chase Lindval, along with Valencia’s Michael Amico and Demiel Lachin, were the only other Santa Clarita-area doubles teams to win their first-round doubles pro-sets. In the singles draw, Canyon’s Chris Guidroz and Valencia’s Carlos Ruiz and Jack Zapala all lost in the quarterfinals. Erik Boal, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Valencia must first play at Saugus today and Hart plays at Burroughs. Tournament a smash: Although light rain sprinkled on the courts throughout the final hour of competition Saturday, Valencia was able to complete its annual Spring Smash tournament without weather interrupting the event. Hart’s Matthew Taotao won the singles title with an 8-3 victory over Camarillo’s Greg Punsalan in the final, helping Hart finish in a third-place tie with the host Vikings with 11 points (teams are awarded two points for a win in the championship bracket and one for a victory in the consolation draw). The Indians were awarded the tiebreaker over the Vikings based on a 73-64 advantage in total games won by their singles and doubles entries. Camarillo, on the strength of Punsalan’s runner-up showing, Connor Karen’s third-place finish and having both teams in the doubles final, won the competition with 22 points. Granada Hills was second with 12.