By GERARDO RECINOS
For the first time so far this league campaign, the varsity boys tennis team won their second consecutive match when they beat Clayton Valley on March 16.
Number one singles player Nick Atencio had a most unusual match for him.
He was clearly the stronger player, with a more varied shot selection, stronger serve, harder hitting with the ability to place his shots, according to coach Sarah Gallagher.
Which made it all that much more surprising that he lost the first set 4-6.
“I was not worried I know Nick has a tough mental attitude and he never gives up,” Gallagher would go on to say. And Atencio repaid his coach’s confidence in him tenfold.
In the second set, he regained his focus, brought in the mental toughness and won 6-2 before barreling through the 10-point tiebreaker and winning 10-5 .
In the number two slot, Tyler Zancanelli played a solid first set and looked in control the entire time winning 6-4. He lost the second set 4-6 . In the tiebreaker, he played his best. He ended up losing 5-10 in the third set but not without a fight and a great effort
Nick Borov won a very close contest in the number three singles spot. His line read 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 in a great match. Borov played aggressive tennis, never playing it safe. But he also wins lots of points because of this, Gallagher said.
Number four singles player Jason Young won easily against Clayton Valley 6-1, 6-1.
“He was on his game,” Gallagher said. “Jason is playing so well this season. He has always had the mechanics — a beautiful game. But now he has a confidence that matches his skills and the formula is winning for him and the team.”
Ab Asefi is playing in the number five singles spot. “He is a talented athlete and his talent is beginning to show on the tennis court,” Gallagher said. “He is quick, smart and can hit the ball with good pace.” He came up short today losing 6-7, 1-6 . But he will continue to improve and he definitely is a contender, according to the coach.
Number six player Tristan Ferrer had a very long and hard match on Thursday afternoon. According to his coach, Ferrer had the better game, better mechanics, better ground strokes.
“But he played a backboard, literally got everything back,” Gallagher would say. Ferrer won the first set 6-3, but lost the second 1-6.
In doubles action, number one duo Oliver Wells and Amar Singh adapted to a last minute line up change due to illness on the team. According to his coach, Wells can “play with anyone and adapt to their game which is not always easy, but he makes it look that way.”
The duo won the opening set 6-1, and then 7-5 in the much closer second.
Number two duo Gabe Arditti and Mason Yaeger played strong and took control from the start in their easy 6-1, 6-3 win.
Due to illness two JV players were in the number 3 spot for the Bulldogs, but they had a shot to compete.
“Mikey Arreaga is one of those first year players that just takes to the game,” Gallagher said. “He is a really good player for a first year, and he looks like he has been playing awhile.” His teammate, Jack Plurkonski is “as solid as a coach could want for a first year player,” Gallagher said.
Playing together for the first time, the team put up a fight, but ultimately lost 4-6, 0-6.