HANFORD — The first West Yosemite League match of the year went to Lemoore as they blazed through Hanford West and downed them 9-0 on Monday.
“First match so first win,” Lemoore coach Carla Bow said. “We had some kids that had never played before and they got their first ‘W’ too.”
The Tigers (1-2, 1-0 WYL) were without top singles player Spencer Denney and on the road, but that didn’t slow down the rest of the ladder as each one picked up the slack accordingly.
Bow said she liked seeing how the team, “took the pressure with Spencer being out … and [took] care of the stroke production that they needed to.”
Lemoore No. 1 singles player Earl Magno dueled against Hanford West No. 1 singles player Michael Briones. The two combined for some great rallies, but in the end it was Magno coming away with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
“I felt pretty confident out there,” Magno, a senior, said. “I just tried to hit every ball as clean as I can and with accuracy and I just gave it my all out there.”
Magno added that he thought his biggest advantage on the day was putting his shots deep on the court.
“I just like seeing the actual competitiveness out here and my teammates doing one above than Hanford [West],” Magno said. “[Hanford West] put up a good struggle. We toughed it out and we had a good match. I’m just happy that I got the dub.”
Lemoore No. 2 singles players Collin Bresenio battled Hanford West No. 2 singles player Adolfo Jimenez and also won 6-3, 6-3. The Tigers were able to sweep through the rest of the singles matches without any real resistance.
The Tigers also took all three doubles matches with as the No. 3 doubles team of Blake Nunes and Riley Jacobs winning most decisively 8-1. The No. 1 doubles team of Magno and Marjaby Bresenio and the No. 2 doubles team of Jonathan Santiago and Chris Avalos won 8-4 and 8-5.
The Tigers were coming off of tough back-to-back 5-4 losses so the dominant win was a welcome sight for the team.
“It was a great win for them to come back after that,” Bow said. “Their confidence was a little down, a little shaky. They came out and did what they needed to do and play their game.”
Briones, a freshman for the Huskies, thought his serve needed some work and hitting shorter shots would’ve helped. But he’s looking forward to his next match and continuing to get better as a player.
“I could’ve did a lot better, but I really messed up today,” Briones said.
Considering it was only Briones’ third tennis match of his life, Hanford West coach Marc Herron was pleased with his performance and sees him as a big part of the team moving forward.
“He’s got great strokes, but he’s got a learning curve when it comes to the game,” Herron said. “Every match he’s getting better and better. Every match he’s competitive. He’ll be our No. 1 for four years probably.”
The Huskies (0-1, 0-1 WYL) are currently in a rebuilding season and only have seven players on the roster, including four freshmen. Herron knows his team won’t be competitive and said they probably won’t win a lot, but he wants to make it fun and hopes to get more kids out on the courts.
“We need kids, but we need coachable kids,” Herron said. “I’d rather work with seven coachable kids than work with 20 problems. That’s where we’re going to build our foundation and it’s only up from here.”
The Huskies travel on the road for their second WYL match today against Redwood (0-1) at 4 p.m. It will be the Rangers first WYL match on the year.
The Tigers will face Central Valley Christian (1-0) on Thursday at 4 p.m.
“I’m looking forward to taking the whole WYL with my whole team,” Magno said. “I just want to play for that moment.”