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Delhi, Denair make early exit at sectionals
Knapp, Dudley make semi-finals
Denair tennis-Alex Knapp
Denairs Alex Knapp, pictured here at a previous match, made it to the semi-final round with Brian Dudley in the CIF Sectional tournament. - photo by Journal file photo

Delhi tennis was the only squad to make the CIF Sectional tournament in the Southern Athletic League as a squad but Denair also sent a handful of players to compete in the always competitive Division III co-ed team tournament.

Monday was the team matchups but unfortunately for Delhi, they fell to Calaveras in a very tight matchup 5-4 to get booted out of the tournament by the number three seed.

Denair’s representatives in the first round of the doubles were Tyler Metcalf alongside Kaelee Martinez but unfortunately they dropped the match in straight sets 6-1 and 6-1 against Vista del Lago’s Jingwen Low and Anjelica Frank.

Also of Denair Andrew Knapp and Aliah Ibarra would fall to Marysville’s Lucy Murillo and Wenbin Li, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

The only winners for Denair would be Alex Knapp and Brian Dudley in the mixed doubles. They made it into the semi-finals and then the consolation bracket.

“This year was an interesting year because I had some good players atop, the kids worked and played hard but across the board I had experienced players up top and then only freshman and sophomores the other half, so I think we will do well in the future,” Denair head coach Paul Michaelis said.

In the semi-final matchup on Friday the tandem of Knapp and Dudley would give their opponents from Lindhurst a marathon matchup to remember as the match lasted over two and a half hours.

At the end of the match the duo would fall 4-6, 6-3 and 5-7 despite giving all they could.

“It was a very close match with a lot of long rallies, heck of a match,” Michaelis said.

After the loss Knapp and Dudley battled in the consolation round to try for a third place finish, but lost to Argonaut 5-10 in a 10 game set to finish fourth in sections.

“That is a really good showing for us and I was very happy with them,” said Michaelis. “Going into it I felt we had a good chance. They are a very good team after playing last year together. Overall they played well enough that they exceeded my expectations and I was really proud of how they handled themselves at the end of the season.”

The Coyotes will lose Knapp and Ibara for next year but the boys’ team will be strongly intact led by Dudley for another year heading into next season.

 “Yeah I will lose some players but my boys are coming back pretty solid for next year and also looking forward for freshman to improve over summer and I think we have a good shot,” Michaelis added.