HANFORD — It’s on to the semifinals for the Sierra Pacific tennis team.
The top-seeded Golden Bears swept ninth-seeded Kingsburg 9-0 in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs at home on May 8.
Sierra Pacific is one step closer to playing for a Valley title and will set its sights against four-seeded Corcoran High School in the semifinals.
As for the quarterfinals match against Kingsburg, Golden Bears head coach Michael Miya stated that it was a “tough” match, even though the score didn’t indicate that.
“The kids played well. I think we’re ready for the next round,” Miya said. “I can’t ask any more of the kids, they’ve given all they had and this was a tough match.”
When talking about the quarterfinals matchup being a tough one, Miya pointed to the No. 1 singles match between Marco Diaz and the Vikings’ Henry Wildes. It was a match that went down to a tiebreaker with the outcome ending in an 11-9 result in Diaz’s favor.
Diaz won the first set 6-2 and Wildes swept the second at 6-0. After Diaz got the winning point, he laid down on the court in relief while the home crowd cheered him on.
“At that moment, I couldn’t believe that I did it,” Diaz said. “I was down in the beginning and I just told myself ‘I could do this, I have to do it for my team’ so I stepped up my game and after that moment I did it.”
Diaz said Wildes was a great player and competitor overall and it was the most intense match the Sierra Pacific player has had this season.
“That was one of the toughest matches I had,” Diaz said. “That guy was really good. I usually just go by, but this match was very tough.”
It also didn’t come easy in the No. 2 singles match for the Golden Bears, but JC Roa pulled off the victory winning the match 6-0, 6-4 against Kingsburg’s Tim Synder.
After sweeping the first set, the second was tougher for Roa.
“I think what happened was I got a little too comfortable,” Roa said. “He started catching up, so I had to settle back down and control myself again.”
Despite a tough second set, Roa said he thought he played well overall in his singles match.
“I had pretty good footwork and footwork is important especially in tennis,” Roa said. “It helps you set up all your shots. I had a lot of things going for me today, so I feel like I played well overall today.”
Miya played his regular lineup in singles competition expect for Kristian Losenara, who usually as his No. 4 player. Bradley Chounlamount, who is usually the No. 5 player, was slotted up one spot. Regular No. 6 player Jinqiao Lu was also slotted up one spot, which paved the way for Dylan Macias to play as the sixth player in the singles lineup. Macias usually plays in Sierra Pacific’s No. 3 doubles team with Nick Brackie.
Losenara didn’t play in singles competition because of a wrist injury, but he did compete in the doubles since the Golden Bears swept the singles. Losenera and Roa defeated Wildes and Chris Gonzalez in the No. 1 doubles match. All double matches were played until the first team got eight points rather than usually playing two sets.
“We were going to sit him out the whole day, but he wanted to play,” Miya said about Losenara.
“We have a deep team,” Miya said. “I expect good things for the next round. I know the playoffs are always tough, but we have to go one match at a time.”
Sierra Pacific will host Corcoran at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Golden Bears defeated the Panthers twice this season in East Sequoia League play with both matches resulting in 8-1 victories.