Heading down the back stretch of the Tri-County Athletic League
regular season, ever match holds greater significance for the
Gilroy High boys tennis team.
GILROY – Heading down the back stretch of the Tri-County Athletic League regular season, ever match holds greater significance for the Gilroy High boys tennis team.
With a 5-2 record, the Mustangs are smack-dab in the mix for a bid for second place in the final league standings.
Salinas is cruising, undefeated in league with a week-and-a-half left in the regular season.
After a disappointing loss to Alvarez on Tuesday, the Mustangs handled lineup changes with ease in defeating Palma, 5-2, on Thursday in Gilroy.
“Alvarez was really unexpected. We were coming off of two weeks without a match so I think we kinda just got over-confident,” No. 3-singles player Ryan Azad said. “But this is a good win. I think this is going to get the wins coming again.”
Azad took care of Arjun Sidhu 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) to notch a team point for the Mustangs, who are in search of their best finish in recent years.
“Coming into this season everyone had low expectations,” Azad said. “But we have done amazing this year. The big difference this year is that we are getting those 4-3, 5-2 wins.”
With his regular No. 1-singles player, Vinh Vong, out with an injury, head coach John Langer had to manipulate his roster a bit, leaving some guys playing in positions they weren’t as comfortable with.
However, what looked to be a scary situation, turned out to be a nice lift for the Mustangs.
Though he lost his match, Oliver Drewry gave Palma’s Dominick Ottone all he could handle in the No. 1 singles match.
“I was especially happy with Ollie, stepping up against a tough opponent,” Langer said.
Andrew Costa, usually a doubles player, saw action in the No. 4-singles slot and efficiently put away Christian Bengard 6-4, 6-4.
“I wasn’t too worried about Andrew,” Langer said.
Victor Vong collected a straight sets win at the No. 2 single spot, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 2-doubles tandem of Ryan case and Brandon Sumida, blew through its match, 6-1, 6-1 while the No. 1-doubles pairing of Joseph Leong and Kevin Lee needed three sets to finally dispose of Joe Corner and Ethan Shaw. The duo came back from a 0-6 hole in the third-set tiebreaker, winning that exchange 10-8 and securing the match, 7-6(7-5), 4-6, 10-8.
“It is good to see that we can still compete without out top player,” Langer said.
The Mustangs have three more matches before the TCAL finals begin on April 29.