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SELMA — The Selma girls tennis team lost 6-3 to Central Valley Christian on its home court Aug. 28. It was the Central Sequoia League opener for both teams.

Even though it wasn’t the result she wanted, Selma coach Debbie Sultenfuss praised the way her girls competed against a tough CVC Cavalier squad, who are 5-2 overall.

“They made CVC earn their points,” Sultenfuss said. “We weren’t giving points away. That’s what I expect, that’s what I love.”

In singles competition, CVC went up 4-2 with Emily Sanchez and Chloe Mendoza coming up with the only wins for the Bears.

Sanchez, who is Selma’s No. 2 player, won her match against Rylie Westra 6-2, 6-2.

The junior said staying mentally tough was a factor in her win.

“I got in my girl’s head,” Sanchez said. “That was my main goal, to get into her head. Just trying to have her start making mistakes, and I did that very well. It worked out.”

Mendoza, the team’s No. 6 player, was victorious against Alyssa Tartaghia in one of the most competitive matches of the afternoon. Mendoza won both sets 6-3, 7-5.

“I think this was the best game I’ve played in my life,” Mendoza said. “I was competing with her. She was really consistent with me, like she would hit it over and I had to hit it back, but I had to get the winning shot.”

The sophomore said she was frustrated during the second set when Tartaghia lead by one point. Mendoza eventually came back and won by two points, which made the sophomore proud of herself for staying mentally focused for the victory.

“I was getting mad at myself for making unforced errors,” Mendoza said. “I would hit it a little bit too hard and it would go [out of bounds], but I had to calm myself down and collect myself.”

In doubles competition, the Bears still had a chance to capture a win, but Selma was only able to win one match out of the three. The Selma No. 2 duo of Alina Lopez and Dashirt Pandher won their doubles match against Natalie Boone and Leah Zwart in an 8-6 result.

As for the other doubles matches, Selma's No. 1 pair of Vieira and Sanchez were defeated 3-8 and the No. 3 duo of Sega Moreno and Alejandra Mendoza lost 6-8.

Even though the No. 1 doubles team lost, Sanchez said Vieira and her played well in their match.

“I think we did very well compared to our last doubles game,” Sanchez said. “We got a more shots in and we got a lot more points that way.

On Aug. 29, the Bears defeated Reedley 6-3 in a nonleague game. The next day, the girls swept league opponent Dinuba 9-0.

Currently, the Bears are 5-2 overall, 1-1 in CSL play and the girls will be fully engaged in league competition until October.

With three weeks played so far this season, Sultenfuss said there’s plenty of room for improvement. As the season progress, Sultenfuss said the girls need to fix their mistakes and improve on their techniques.

“We can always improve on everything,” Sultenfuss said. “Any player who says that can’t improve on anything is crazy. We can always get better at something.”

Next up for Selma is a league matchup at Exeter High School on Sept. 6. After, the Bears will compete in the California Tennis Classic on Sept. 7-8. The tournament features numerous teams from throughout the state with matches being played at 24 sites in Fresno and Madera counties.

Selma will continue CSL play at home against Immanuel on Sept. 11.

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

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