HANFORD — The Golden Bears really like the way 9-0 looks.
Sierra Pacific (12-0, 9-0 ESL) faced off against East Sequoia League opponent Lindsay on Friday afternoon and the result was the same as it has been for pretty much everyone else — a 9-0 victory for SP.
The shutout victory was their fifth consecutive sweep and another dominating one where they dropped only six games in all. They’ve won 11 of their 12 matches this season via a sweep and won an astounding 107 of 108 matches.
“The 9-0 is just a product of having fun and them playing well on the court,” Sierra Pacific coach Michael Miya said. “It’s all about teaching the game properly and having fun doing it.”
No. 1 singles player Marco Diaz and No. 2 JC Roa led the charge with quick 8-0 victories. Diaz played with a glove on his right hand because of a blister on his palm. If it affected him, it didn’t show on the court.
“I just had to fight through, just keep playing my game,” Diaz said. “I knew I was going to be fine.”
Roa got ahead quickly with his serve and well-placement on the court. Everything seemed to be working for him, especially his forehand, which he called a big asset when it’s working for him.
“My serves, they’re always a big part of my game because I can generate a lot of top spin and it’s really hard to return something that’s coming at you pretty fast,” Roa said.
No. 5 Bradley Chounlamountry and No. 6 Jinqiao Lu also came away with 8-0 victories. No. 3 Jackie Gong won 8-2 and No. 4 Kristian Losenara won 8-1.
The match of the afternoon was watching Diaz and Roa play together as the No. 1 doubles team. The chemistry, communication and skill all put together in one match was like poetry in motion.
“We’re like ‘The Duo,’ Diaz said. “That’s what the people call us cause we communicate well and we get along with each other. We make a good team.”
Each one knew what the other was going to do and when. Diaz was a force at the net and Roa dominated with his serve. It was no different when they switched. Both were exceedingly efficient on the court.
“My confidence in [Diaz’s] abilities makes it a lot easier, like mentally,” Roa said. “In a lot more competitive matches, it’s just really great to feel that sense of competition between both myself and Marco, and ourselves and the other team.”
The No. 2 doubles team of Gong and Losenara and No. 3 doubles team of Nick Brockie and Alex Rogodo both won 8-1 in their matches.
With all the constant winning and success the team is used to, one might be prone to falling into complacency, but not with Sierra Pacific.
“You probably won’t ever see a more dedicated team,” Roa said.
He elaborated how the team is always out on the court during the offseason whether it’s the summer, fall or winter. Roa doesn’t even call anyone to go to the courts and play tennis. He just shows up and someone is there practicing he said.
That dedication is what has gotten them this far and continues to keep them going every day. Keeping his boys focused is the hardest thing Miya has to do as a coach he said. During matches
he’ll give his team certain instructions and tasks for where to hit a ball, or how to serve or what to do with a certain stroke.
Miya makes sure to keep the boys on their toes so even practices are a daily changeup.
“We actually change our practices up almost daily,” Miya said. “We have different drills. We have different games. We try to make things fun for them.”
Sierra Pacific has their next league match on the road against Granite Hills on Wednesday at 4 p.m. They also have a home match against Woodlake on Friday at 4 p.m.
“Our intensity going into the next few games, we should be playing well,” Miya said. “We’re practicing well so I think that’s going to carry through to the end of the season.”