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Turlock boys tennis topples Pitman
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Turlock High No. 1 singles player Adrian Rosero returns a serve during Tuesday's match against Pitman High (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

The crosstown rivalry between Turlock and Pitman High varsity boys tennis was renewed on Friday afternoon as the Bulldogs hosted the Pride for their first home match of the year, emerging victorious 7-2. 

It was the second win of the season for Turlock and Pitman’s second loss, but the match was closer than the final score made it seem. While the Bulldogs swept the singles matches, four of the team’s six singles victories went to a tiebreaker. The Pride won two of the match’s three doubles matchups.

“It’s always a fun match when we play Pitman,” Turlock head coach Jack Schneider said. 

The Bulldogs will be led this season by No. 1 singles player senior Adrian Rosero, who faced off against the Pride’s best player in Marcos Mendoza and won in a tiebreaker. It is Schneider's hope that Turlock will be able to beat Gregori High this season and finish first in the Central California Athletic League, since playoffs have been cancelled due to the pandemic-shortened season. 

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Pitman High freshman Nanak Barring playS in his first singles match on Tuesday (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

“I wanted Adrian to experience sections — that’s when you get to play the great players,” Schneider said. “I think we still have a chance to win this thing, and I’m expecting our singles to lead the way.”

The Bulldog singles players did just that on Tuesday, with No. 2 singles player Joe Chan defeating Pitman’s No. 2 Trey Bucheli in a tiebreaker as well. Singles players Jacob Putnam, Peter Wilson, Richard Wang and Josh Backus all earned victories for Turlock as well, with Wilson and Wang easily winning their matches in straight sets. 

While the No. 1 doubles team of Austin Yu and Vincent Hoobyar also delivered a win on Tuesday, Schneider said if the singles continue to play as they have been, the league title he’s hoping for could be in reach. 

Schneider is a tennis pro at Brenda Athletic Clubs in addition to his role as head coach, but there’s one thing he couldn’t prepare his players for: a pandemic. He’s happy to see the team back on the court, he said, but when it comes to wearing a mask while sprinting around on a tennis court?

“Oh, I couldn’t imagine,” Schneider said. 

Turlock is now 2-1 in CCAL play and Pitman is 0-2. Turlock will play at Downey High Thursday at 3 p.m., and Pitman will play at Enochs High on Thursday at 3 p.m.