HANFORD — It’s another new season for the Bullpups tennis team and although they’ve played tough, that first win still eludes them. The same happened on Monday when they lost 8-1 at home to El Diamante in a West Yosemite League match.
“We started off all right, but because of the rain and other things, we haven’t really been able to capitalize on some of the things we have to work on,” Hanford boys coach Alex Ibarra said. “They’re actually improving and working hard to get to these wins and I see it, but this weather is not helping out at all.”
Without much practice under their belt, the boys still did their best with five out of six singles players scoring a couple of games during their sets so the positive improvement is slowly taking place.
No. 5 singles player Filiberto Rosales won the lone match on the day with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. He played well throughout the day and never had a letup in his game.
No. 1 singles player Kyle Mayfield struggled in his first set losing 6-1, but was able to make up some ground in his second set before ultimately falling 6-3. No. 2 Xavier Galvan struggled on the day and “wasn’t himself” as he lost 6-0, 6-0.
No. 3 Jeremiah Munguia lost his match 6-1 and 6-2 and admitted that he struggled to stay focused on the court.
“I felt like I just wasn’t in it with [my singles match],” Munguia said.
Mentally, he said it was just some of the simple things such as not paying attention to the rest of the players around him and staying home with his match. Still, these are the kinds of things the team will be able to flesh out as the season progresses and more practices take place.
No. 4 singles player Shane Jordan lost 6-1, 6-3 and No. 6 Rodrigo Maldonado came close in his first set losing 7-5 and then lost 6-2.
The Bullpups lost all three of its doubles matches, but came close with the No. 1 doubles team of Mayfield and Munguia. The two led 7-6 before losing 8-8 (8-6) in a tiebreaker.
“At first, I wasn’t expecting too much out of it because I had already previously lost the last one, but toward the end I felt a bit better because we were almost getting there,” Munguia said. “I thought we were going to win it, but it was a good match so I can’t complain that we lost it.”
No. 2 doubles Galvan and Jordan and the No. 3 doubles team of Anthony Valencia and Rafael Gonsalez both lost 8-3.
“I feel like they’re there and they just need that extra push to get them to that next level where they can compete even better,” Ibarra said about the boys performance.
With the new season, Ibarra said he wants to earn a couple wins to help boost the boys’ confidence and hopes it will get them to start wanting to play more and practice more.
“With wins comes more enthusiasm to want to play harder and try to win more,” Ibarra said.
Hanford dropped to 0-3 on the season and in the WYL, but they’ll welcome rival Hanford West today at 4 p.m., weather permitting. The Huskies also find themselves winless on the season and Ibarra believes it’s something the team can take advantage of.
“We’re playing a team that’s around our level so it’s going to be good to see that they can finally match up to somebody playing around their level,” Ibarra said. “I think they’re going to go in there with a little more confidence because they’ve played these tougher teams in the beginning like Redwood and El Diamante.”