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Underclassmen step up to fill spots for senior tennis players

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

Alhambra’s tennis team took on the Mt. Diablo Red Devils on Thursday, March 13. And they did it without some of their top players.

The Bulldogs swept Mt. Diablo without number one single players Nick Atencio, number three player Jason Young, number four singles player Tyler Surges. They were also missing one of the number one half of the number one doubles team, Oliver Wells, and Gabe Arditti, one of the number two singles duo.

I was confident we could still win but was impressed that we swept all nine lines in two sets,” said coach Sarah Gallagher of the win.

Tyler Zancanelli stepped up to beat his opponent with the same score Atencio beat him with earlier in the year, 6-2, 6-2.

Number two singles player Nick Borov beat his opponent 6-1, 6-2. “It was nice to see Nick work on his game in this match, coming to the net often and playing the net aggressively,” Gallagher said.

Third block singles player Ab Asefi played the same opponent he played last time winning with a better outcome of 6-2, 6-4. Asefi was showing improvement with his play, according to his coach.

Fourth ranked singles player Tristan Ferrer moved up after playing in the six-hole last time the Red Devils and Bulldogs met. He looked totally in control of his match, and played solidly, winning 6-3, 6-0.

Michael Morrill played up in the singles ranks. The freshman came up from doubles for the second time this season and played a very confident match. He played smart angling shots, coming to the net, setting up his winners . He won 6-1, 6-0.

Number six singles player Mason Yaeger stepped up without hesitation to play in the singles spot. Yeager is a great athlete and it becomes apparent when he is in these spots. Yeager won easily 6-2, 6-0.

Amar Singh and Jackson Gilliam teamed up in the number one doubles duo and won 6-3, 6-4. It was not an easy task but both of these players are flexible enough and can play with anyone and make the adjustments to make the partnership work, according to Gallagher.

Number two pair Mikey Arreaga and Alejandro Martinez fought in the first set, up 4-1 then it became 5-5. The Alhambra duo ended up winning 7-5 in an impressive showing for a JV duo playing varsity and staying mentally tough. They ended up winning the match 7-5, 6-3.

Number three doubles pair Billy Kruta and Yuvi Virk played their first match at the varsity level and never looked doubtful. They played so well as a team with Billy covering mostly the net and Yuvi he back court winning 6-3, 6-1. It was a commanding win for the JV duo

“I did not expect a sweep, I knew we could win but never thought with these scores,” Gallagher said. “The guys did a great job and really played for the team.”

With the season coming to a close, the Bulldog boys will have four more meets to compete in before the end of the season. Coach Gallagher’s team has had one of its most successful seasons in recent memory.

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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