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Pride tennis captures win in final match

Pride tennis captures win in final match

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POSTED April 28, 2010 12:20 a.m.

Suddenly, the flock of Pitman and Turlock high boys tennis players hustled their way to the court where Monday's most exciting match was taking place. No, it wasn't the showdown between No. 1s Scott Gray of Turlock and Michael Davis of Pitman. That one was settled minutes ago, with Davis escaping with an important win.

This other match was the No. 3 doubles, which featured the lowest seeded players.

But again, it was the most important match with the winners giving their team the much-needed point to break up the moment's tie-breaker. And it was a competitive one, with both doubles teams knowing what was at stake: a crosstown rivalry win, a league championship and bragging rights. Their teammates were lined up along the court, watching in anticipation.

The victors? Pitman's Zach Osborne and Skylar Sexton, thanks to them edging Turlock's Brandon Purdy and Morley Baker 7-6 (4), 7-5.

That meant the Pride earned the 5-4 win, which ultimately handed both teams 10-1 records in the Central California Conference before their respective season finales on Tuesday.

It also avenged Pitman's loss to the Bulldogs earlier in the season, with that one being an 8-1 thumping.

“That was the best match we've played since I've been coaching,” said Pitman coach Jeff Hayes, who's in his fifth year in charge.

The Pride didn't forget the no-mercy loss they received from the Bulldogs on March 18, with only one Pitman player coming away with a victory. After that, Hayes said his team practiced and conditioned to not let that kind of beating happen again.

And this time, it was much closer.

Many eyes focused on the No. 1 match between Turlock's Gray and Pitman's Davis. It was the third time the rivals met, with Gray winning the two previous meetings. But as Davis put it, “I was thinking about the (rematch) since that day I lost to him.”

Davis said he felt good about his game starting in the second set, adding, “I was brimming with confidence and I knew I was going to settle the set.” The sophomore, who's not shy about his celebration with shouts of “Yeah!” and fist-pumps after a successful shot, won 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 against one of his top challengers.

The win, the Pitman coach said, gave the Pride an advantage: “It gave us a boost of hope in the match.”

Shortly after, players from both Pitman and Turlock found out that the score was tied at 4-4, all coming down to the No. 3 doubles match.

By then, No. 2 Trevor Purdy, No. 3 Mike Lazar, No. 4 Nathan Potter, No. 5 Alex Wolski and No. 6 Dylan Weddle had earned singles victories for Turlock, to balance out Pitman's dominance in the doubles with Jason Moitoso and Branden Hamby in No. 1 and Brachton Malek and Luis Velasquez in No. 2 taking their matches.

Also in singles, Pitman's Dylan Weddle earned a win.

It was up to the No. 3 double guys and all four, Hayes said, played perhaps the best matches of their high school careers — though two left as the winners.

“The guys worked really hard and played really hard,” the Pitman coach said.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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