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KINGSBURG - In a match that went down to the wire, the Kingsburg girls tennis team pulled off a 5-4 victory over Selma on its home court on Sept. 18.

The win improves the Vikings record to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in Central Sequoia League play.

As for the Bears, their record drops to 16-4 overall and 4-2 in league play.

Kingsburg claimed the victory in doubles play after Vikings No. 2 duo of Raine Palomino and Madelyn Gunland defeated Dashirt Pander and Tammana Avjla 8-5.

With the team score tied 4-4, Palomino scored the winning point to conclude the match.

“I knew Selma was going to be tough looking at their results with similar opponents,” Kingsburg head coach Tom Gramza said. “They came out strong. I have to give them credit. They hustled and played hard and our girls did too.”

Selma head coach David Cortina said it was the team’s toughest loss of the season so far.

“It was a tough match,” Cortina said. “My team for the most part, they all competed.”

Even though he thought the girls competed well, Cortina said his team is capable of improving on many mistakes. According to Cortina, many of those mistakes made a difference in the match.

“It’s them taking in what we’re teaching them and applying it to their matches,” Cortina said. “A lot of them didn’t do that, so it’s tough.”

Singles play between the two teams finished with a 3-3 tie, which meant the winner would come down to doubles.

The first match to conclude in doubles play was the No. 3 match, which was won by the Selma duo Emily Sanchez and Sega Moreno. The No. 3 duo defeated Syndey Smith and Zoya Sihol 8-3.

Kingsburg tied it up 4-4 after the Vikings won the No. 1 doubles match. Kingsburg duo Zoey Van Beurden and Hannah Hjelm claimed an 8-6 victory in that match over Rachel Vieira and Alina Lopez. After Palomino and Gunland won the No .2 doubles match, Gramza was relieved the girls were able to pull off the team victory.

“As coaches, we love the adrenaline in those close moments,” Gramza said. “Any coach, I’ll be real honest, they would much rather have a blowout because it’s less stress on everybody. But this is fun for the girls to know that they stepped up when they needed too.”

One of the most intense matches of the afternoon was between the No. 1 singles players – Vieira and Van Beurden. Viera won.

Van Beurden responded with a victory in her doubles match with Hjelm.

“She was a little mad at herself,” Gramza said about Van Beurden. “In doubles, she was kind of fired up and said ‘Ok I could play harder’ and she played harder in doubles, so she had a little redemption there.”

Up next for Selma is a road league matchup against Hanford West on Sept. 27. As for Kingsburg, the team will continue its league schedule against Dinuba at home on Oct. 2.

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com

News Reporter

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