It’s been the story of two opposites for two tennis teams in the Southern Athletic League this year in Delhi and Denair High.
Heading into Monday's penultimate match Denair had only a lone victory in 14 league matches, while Delhi had nine.
Not much changed, as Delhi ended up toppling Denair 8-1, and sweeping them in a 3-0 series for the regular season.
“Our win today feels like you never want to underestimate your opponent in every match because you don't know how much time they have put in,” said Delhi head coach Felipe Espino. “All of our opponents played tough. We could have swept them but that's okay we played well all around.”
Six of the nine matches ended in straight sets with Denair's number one singles player, Robert Williams, topping Delhi's Robert Gonzalez, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7).
“I am pleased with the enthusiasm our players are showing for the game,” said Denair head coach Bill Weber. “Robert Williams was our only win of the day by score, but I believe our whole team is winning by attitude and effort.”
Jorge Carrillo, Jessica Juarez, Clarissa Meza, all won their matches on the singles side over Denair's Luis Fuentes, Cristal Fuentes and Wanda Elliot.
One of the most exciting matches of the day on the singles side was the number two girls’ matchup between Meza and Elliot. The match ended up going into a third set, and went to a tiebreaker with Meza coming out the winner 6-2, 3-7, 12-10.
“That No. 2 girls’ singles was a very good match,” said Espino.
It wasn't the only good one as the Hawks finished off strong with a sweep on the doubles side.
“We finished off strong and the team is coming together. That win earlier in the year against Ripon Christian really boosted our confidence,” said Espino, whose team defeated RC 5-4 earlier in the month. “I didn't want to get swept by RC.”
Gonzalez, Meza and Nathan Cervantes had spent countless hours assisting the tennis team which helped them grow and succeed at a different level this past season.
“They came in at four years to the high school tennis team and help out our community and I am proud of their commitment along with our youth tennis and they helped the program,” said Espino.
“They have to be leaders for youth and role models to young kids and give up many evenings and I commend them for giving back to that time for youth and following our vision to cultivating it all,” he added.
“This year we built the foundation for years to come,” Weber added. “We have no seniors leaving us this year. I see a group of kids that want to work hard for the next 40 weeks to prepare for the next season. As their coach I am excited to see their growth as they step outside of their comfort zone to get better, and have fun doing it.”
Next for the Hawks and Coyotes will be the SAL league finals on Thursday, at a time yet to be announced.