Bulldog tennis opens league play with tough Matadors on the road

Martinez Tribune

The Bulldog tennis team powered through rainy conditions in their Diablo Foothill Athletic League opener against Miramonte, but the weather wasn’t the only foe they had to deal with.

The Matadors have a stout program that has given the Bulldogs problems in recent memory. That compounded with missing players in the Alhambra ladder made for a 0-9 loss on Tuesday, March 8.

“We were without Nick Atencio our number one singles player as well as Issac Frierson a solid number six singles or number one doubles player, which meant everyone had to adjust up the ladder playing at a higher level than would be otherwise,” said coach Sarah Gallagher.

Nick Ertola stepped up to play number one, and battled a tough opponent to the very end never giving up. He had some good points, good rallies and forced many deuce games but could not close to win a game, said Gallagher. Ertola was blanked by his Matador opponent. 

There was much of the same for Michael Aboussie who had strong rallies in the number two slot. Aboussie had close games but his opponent had all the weapons – strong serve, great placement, good drop shot solid ground strokes just enough to win.

At number three, Tyler Zancanelli also played a good match using his slice and drop shot to win points but it was just not enough to win a game, according to Gallagher.

 Number four singles player Jason Young played many good points and looked to be in the match  but could not get past his opponent who had a strong serve and solid ground strokes losing 0-6, 0-6. 

Number five singles player Tyler Surges had one of the better matches of the day. A second year player up from doubles last year, Surges fought hard and made his opponent run side to side while running down balls for return he lost the first set 1-6 but came back to battle taking the second set to 2-4, 3-4, then losing 4-6.

“A well played match and an impressive beginning for a new singles player,” said Gallagher.

At number six, Juman Purewal a senior lost 0-6, 0-6. Purewal is a first year player, and according to Gallagher, the first-year player relied on natural ability and played in what was not an entirely uneven match. Purewal held his own and played some very good points and had many good rallies.

In doubles action, number one team Gabe Arditti and Nick Borov played an experienced and seasoned Miramonte doubles team losing 1-6, 1-6. This is a new partnership for according to the coach, who said the duo continue to get better as they play more.

Number two doubles was Ab Asefi, a first year player, with Shayan Mirzazadeh, a second year player. The duo were tough and gave their all on the court losing 1-6, 0-6.

Adrian O’Leary and Tristan Ferrer took up the number three spot in doubles action. Both first year players took on the challenge and were able to get two games the first set but ended up losing 2-6, 0-6. Both of these players show skill and athletic ability; they will continue to improve as the season progresses.

The tennis team battled Pittsburg on Thursday, March 3, with two players in particular playing tough matches. Ertola and Aboussie, a former doubles pair as sophomores, went three sets. But lost, but both also came from behind to force a third game in their sets.

Other results against Pittsburg included, Tyler Zancanelli  2-6, 1-6; Jason Young 0-6, 2-6; Tyler Surges 5-7, 2-6; Juman Purewal  0-6 , 3-6. In doubles, Gabe Arditti and Nick Borov  2-6, 1-6; Adam Pakman and Peter Strykers  0-6, 2-6; Tristan Ferrar and Aidan O’Leary 4-6, 0-6.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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