Rivalries, especially in high school sports, can be very competitive and come down to the wire and that’s exactly what happened on the tennis court on Tuesday when Denair traveled to Delhi to take on the Hawks in a Southern Athletic League matchup.
The day was perfect for tennis with the sun out, and shined even brighter for the Hawks in the final mixed doubles match as they dominated from the onset and the Coyotes could not pull away as the victory came, 5-4.
“The victory is a win, but as far as the team, I think we could’ve done a lot better... I know what we need to work on and hopefully we will dominate Ripon Christian this Friday,” Delhi head coach Jesse Gutierrez said.
After the win, the Hawks are 6-1 overall, with their only loss coming against Ripon Christian a few weeks ago.
The Coyotes sit with a 3-4 overall posting leading into Friday’s matchup against Waterford.
It was the Coyotes who dominated in the singles bracket, as they lost only one match heading into the doubles contest, sitting nicely at 3-1.
Denair’s number one singles player, Brian Dudley, set the pace in his match against Delhi’s Alfredo Vasquez, taking it to him in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-0. Dudley is still undefeated thus far with a 7-0 league record.
“The only thing that stood out was my singles player Brian Dudley who is still undefeated. He is playing really well,” Denair head coach Paul Michaelis said. “It was pretty close, the real difference they were a little stronger in the doubles this time. Their doubles are a little stronger than ours right now.”
Delhi’s number two boys singles player, Jesus Gonzalez, notched the Hawks only opening win over Andrew Knapp, 7-5 and 6-4.
Delhi, knowing it had to win out or suffer only their second loss of the season, stepped it up and in the final five matches. The Hawks prevailed winning the final four matches with all but one coming by way of straight sets.
In the mixed doubles, the Hawks saw victory 6-1 then 7-5 as Delhi’s Breanna Allamilla and Ramon Murillo beat out Denair’s Shanell Silva and Patrick Gowin.
“Mixed doubles was very impressive today,” Gutierrez said about his team’s final matches. “In the end, our number two girls and boys stepped up, but we didn’t say anything and they were very excited about that.”
Delhi will host the only team that has beaten them this season thus far, Ripon Christian, at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Denair will play Friday at home against Waterford at 3:30 p.m.