Last Thursday, the Huskies tennis team hosted the Wahluke Warriors and both the boys and girls teams were able to easily handle the depleted squad to pick up a 4-1 win for the boys and a 5-0 sweep for the girls. The boys ran into more trouble Saturday, March 22, at East Valley with a 1-4 loss, but the girls squad held out for a 3-2 win to start the season with a 2-0 record. Head coach Rob Pruneda said Wahluke could only field two male athletes so he placed senior beginner Tanner Wagner in first singles with another senior newcomer in David Freeman at No. 2. Wagner won by 6-4 both sets while Freeman stayed competitive but fell 2-6 and 3-6. On the girls side, No. 1 singles Keestan Andersen had no problem getting a win and Pruneda said he's happy to see her serves looking crisper than they had been last season.
East Valley proves too much for boys Apart from the No. 1 doubles team of Michael Carlton and Gabe Harris, who Pruneda said looked "phenomenal," no other boys could pull out wins against the Red Devils in their first full-length match against a CWAC opponent. Carlton and Harris defeated Drew Schersligt and Michael Manion 2-0, winning both sets 6-3. Pruneda said the East Valley boys came ready to play, but consistent, confident performances from the Huskies came out on top. "East Valley's boys were solid, but my boys had confidence," he said. "They were out there and they were stroking." One area where Othello had an advantage was serving. Pruneda said Harris won a set almost single-handedly by adjusting his serve after falling love-40 and won the game by a comeback. "We call that situational hitting where he just thinks about the points and at the break I said to him that was really good to see," he said about his awareness. Lorenzo Garza and Fernando Huerta lost 0-2 at No. 2 doubles while the top two singles teams in Diego Villarreal and Marty Garza struggled due to a general lack in accurate hitting all day, Pruneda said.
Girls go back and forth but ultimately conquer Devils Anderson had another dominant win at East Valley, defeating freshman Lexi Anderan in two 6-0 sets. Pruneda has high expectations for her and said he'd like to see her add some stronger shots with more topspin to her tool set that already includes the most consistent serving on the girls team. "As she plays harder competition, she's going to learn to hit that top spin to get more speed on the ball," he said. Second singles Zoee Roylance won 2-0, but the No. 1 doubles team of Laloni and Lili Tovar fell by 1-6 scores in both sets against Alli Eckert and Amy Wilson. Pruneda said they'll need to focus on their net play on both returns and the attack to really begin to find success. No. 2 doubles Amy Baltazar and Lauren Garza played a close match, but ultimately lost after dropping a tiebreaker set 7-4. Finally, the No. 3 doubles team of first-year seniors Rosa Cruz and Angelica Constantino won 2-0 with set scores of 6-2 and 6-3. Pruneda said it's a little early to tell, but they could prove to be the dark horses for the team this season. The Huskies already took on Grandview at home for a non-league match Tuesday this week, but results weren't available as of press time. Spring break will postpone the action until April 8 when the team travels to Ephrata.