HANFORD - The season came to an end for the Kingsburg tennis team after losing 9-0 to top-seeded Sierra Pacific High School in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs on May 8.
For the ninth-seeded Vikings, the team ends the season with an overall record of 5-9 and 4-6 in Central Sequoia League play.
Although the score doesn’t indicate it, Kingsburg coach Tom Gramza said the guys “played well” and “hustled” against the Golden Bears. He stated that one of the team’s biggest problems of the day was unforced errors, which is something he expects to be improved on next season.
“We were getting a lot of good set ups and we were over playing or under playing them,” Gramza said. “We’re too up-and-down right now and you get that when you have young players.”
Besides being proud of the way the guys pressured their opponent, Gramza appreciated the sportsmanship his team showed throughout the match.
“I really appreciated their character,” Gramza said. “They were never cheering unforced errors from the opponent. Our guys will never cheer about that and our guys showed a lot of class and I appreciated that.”
“To me that’s the No. 1 thing to any team. We had years where we won a lot and years were we haven’t, but I like character.”
The Vikings’ No. 1 player, Henry Wildes, competed in the most intense match of the day against Marco Diaz. The two competed to a super tiebreaker that ended in an 11-9 result in Diaz’s favor.
Wildes lost the first set 6-0, but he won the second set 6-0. Wildes said that was one of the toughest matches he’s had all year.
“It was kind of going both ways,” Wildes said. “I feel like it was a good match all around, but he came out with the win at the end, which he kind of deserved it and I just took a [loss] today.”
Vikings No. 2 player, Tim Snyder, lost to JC Roa 6-0, 6-4, but competed well against the Sierra Pacific player, especially in the second set. Snyder said the first set was tough, but he started feeling comfortable with his technique in the second one.
“The beginning was tough,” Snyder said. “Toward the end, I starting coming out and hitting with more topspin and it definitely helped me.”
Prior to the loss, Kingsburg won its first round match against No. 8 seed Arvin on May 3. The Vikings swept the match 9-0 including close wins by Gonzalez and Jordan Hjelm. Gonzalez won the No. 3 match and Hjelm was victorious in the No. 4 match. Both of their matches came down to a super tiebreaker with each of them winning 10-7 in the final set.