The Turlock High Bulldogs boys’ tennis team sent two squads into the semifinal round of Thursday's Central California doubles tournament that was hosted in Atwater High.
“We had three teams in the tourney and all played pretty well,” said Turlock head coach Jack Schneider.
Turlock's number one doubles team of Nick Vardeh and and Eilen Shabaz, who were also seeded number two for the tournament, beat out Merced's number two doubles team in the first round, 6-4 and 6-2 then followed that victory with a win over Golden Valley's number two doubles squad in the quarterfinal, 6-3 and 6-3.
This launched the duo into the semifinal match against Atwater's number one doubles team that was seeded third. The boys won the first set, 6-2, but lost in back-to-back tiebreakers 6-7 (5) and 6-7 (5).
“If they won, then they would advance to sections but they were getting riled up and committed lots of errors and all four players were so nervous with everyone watching,” Schneider said. “I knew they were unbeaten and in a tough pressure situation I knew it was tough. Both guys were hurt after.”
Sitting as the fourth seed were Turlock's second doubles team, Alex Lima and David Lazar. They won in the first round set, 6-3, then lost 1-6, only to win it at the end, 6-4, against Golden Valley's number one doubles team.
“It was shaky but they got their act together towards the end and did well down the stretch,” Schneider said of his number two doubles team.
In the quarterfinal round, Lazar and Lima dominated Atwater's number two team, 6-2 and 6-1, to set themselves up for a semifinal bout against Merced's top team. Unfortunately the Bulldog duo fell 3-6 and 3-6, to the Bears’ team.
“They lost six in a row after winning the first two and they needed to serve better to have a good chance to win,” Schneider said.
Davis Griffin and Kellen Ireland got together for a double duo experience as the third team for Turlock and after beating Golden Valley, 6-2 and 6-2, they unfortunately lost to Merced's number one doubles team, 3-6 and 3-6.
“They played great overall, very solid,” said Schneider. “Davis will only get better, he is really improving.”
The Pitman Pride only had one team advance past the first round, the number one team for head coach Doug Reimers. Teammates Jeremy Moitoso and Devan Jantz won a three setter game against Buhach Colony's number two doubles squad, handing them a 6-4, 3-6, and 6-4 win.
The squads that consisted of Max Martell and Nick Gianfortone and Dennis Lawson and Gore Hayer, lost in the opening round.
“They all played great. Showed lots of heart and represented Pitman with class,” said Reimers.
Moitoso and Jantz then lost 1-6, 6-4 and 5-7 against Atwater's number one doubles team in a very interesting matchup.
“That was a very long match to advance into the next round,” Schneider said of the second round match from Pitman's Moitoso and Jantz.
In individual play nobody from the local schools qualified for sections.
Folsom is coming into town to play against Turlock in the CIF Sac-Joaquin team tennis playoffs on Thursday at home at a time yet to be determined.